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Photographic exhibition leads 'humanistic' care model

They say a picture paints a thousand words and this is the case with the launch of a new Western Australia photographic exhibition which aims to stimulate and challenge misinformed assumptions and unexplored stereotypes linked to ageing.
A photo of two aged care residents, captured by Western Australia photographer, Steve Wise, in his Depth of Field: Exploring Ageing exhibition.
A photo of two aged care residents, captured by Western Australia photographer, Steve Wise, in his Depth of Field: Exploring Ageing exhibition.

The University of Western Australia’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Education Centre will today (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) launch Depth of Field: Exploring Ageing.

With more than 30 documentary style photographs by renowned Western Australia photographer, Steve Wise, the exhibition presents raw and honest photographic images of 14 older West Australians, complemented by audio-narrated film of their health care experiences.

The Depth of Field exhibition aims to create a different space; a more humanistic lens to consider new perspectives around ageing.

The photographic stories represent a diverse range of age related health and social issues, ranging from dependence in a hostel setting to healthy older adults living independently in the community.

Project leader and education specialist, Dr Gabrielle Brand, says the photographs aim to evoke an awareness of ageism and challenge negative attitudes towards older adults.

“These photographic images are part of a bigger education project that involves older people in curriculum design and healthcare education,” Dr Brand says.

“The photographs and audio-narrated film will be part of an innovative, digital reflective learning resource that is designed to stimulate in-depth discussions, examine unexplored stereotypes, and challenge current and future health care professionals through reflection, to consider new perspectives and alternative understandings around ageing.”

The Depth of Field: Exploring Ageing exhibition acknowledges 14 aged care residents from Western Australia's residential care organisation, The Bethanie Group, who volunteered their time and shared their stories to help move health professions students and practitioners “beyond diagnosis” to a more humanistic model of care for older adults.

The exhibition will be launched from 5pm to 7pm at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at The University of Western Australia and will run until Saturday (16 May 2015) from 11am to 5pm.  The project was funded by the WA Nurses Memorial Charitable Trust Grant.


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