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Social program gives Sandra new lease on life

Sandra Neuling, a retired Psychologist was looking for social interaction after the loss of her best friend.

Reaching out to My Aged Care, Sandra was delighted to find ACH Group’s widespread offering of social experiences.

“My friend and I did everything together and when she died it was like ‘what do I do now’,” she said.

“I just needed something as a social outlet, I didn’t need anything physical – just social.

“My Aged Care linked me into ACH Groups social program, which you can try for free, and I haven’t looked back since.”

On 30 April 2024, Sandra met with ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt at her weekly Art in Focus class at the picturesque Partridge House in Glenelg.

Artist Sandra shows her painting to Linda, ACH Group CEO
Artist Sandra Neuling and ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt

Sandra said to Linda that the art program had been a standout social experience for her.

“In school I was told I can’t do art and that had kind of stayed with me all my life,” she said.

“The teachers here are so great though; they are very clear that the purpose of the class is to have a good time and you don’t have to produce something that needs to be hung on a wall every week.

“We’ve been exposed to charcoal, water colour, acrylics – a huge range of different styles and as my confidence has grown, I’ve found that I have a bit of a flair for art.

ACH Group CEO Linda Feldt said Sandra was a perfect example of what ACH Groups extensive social program was aiming to deliver .

“Our social program is all about making as many outlets as possible for older South Australians to build their skills and connect with their communities,” she said.

“The most common feedback we get about our social program is that the social aspects are valued most.”

“People who attend these programs make friendships that last well beyond the class.”

“It is really special being able to meet people like Sandra and see the significant impact our social program is having in enriching lives.”

New research by Professor Susan Magsamen from John Hopkins has shown that the cognitive impact of doing art can extend a person’s lifespan by up to 10 years.

Learn about ACH Group’s range of social experiences, and how to access them.

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