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Where there is art there is joy

To Ruth Hill, painting is as innate as breathing and thanks to the ECH home support Ruth receives at her Encounter Bay home she can focus on and pursue her creative passion.

<p>To Ruth Hill, painting is as innate as breathing and thanks to the ECH home support Ruth receives at her Encounter Bay home she can focus on and pursue her creative passion.</p>

To Ruth Hill, painting is as innate as breathing and thanks to the ECH home support Ruth receives at her Encounter Bay home she can focus on and pursue her creative passion.

Ms Hill, 90, has received home support since July 2012, which includes cleaning and shopping.

“I had a knee replacement 10 years ago and I can’t kneel down or bend fully so having the girls here to do various things I can’t manage is so helpful,” she says. “My daughters are there for me but they work full time so home support has been important. One of my daughters lives nearby with her partner and watches over me every day. I’m very fortunate.”

Ms Hill has attended the Easy Moves for Active Ageing exercise group in Victor Harbor and also podiatry and physiotherapy in Victor Harbor. Between July 2013 and February 2014, her assessment results indicated her mobility had improved.

In turn, she was able to continue painting. “I’ve been painting since I was a young girl and my father was a painter,” she says.

“I call myself a hobby painter. I give them away or paint them for my family and close friends. I have sold a couple of paintings for people who really wanted them but I do it for love for my family and friends. I like painting flowers the most and bugs and butterflies.”

Ms Hill was an active member in Goolwa’s not for profit art program Create & Connect for about six years and a highly respected artist in the community. “I did mosaic, acrylic and pastel and it was really lovely,” she says.

“I did a lot of work for the Just Add Water festival at Goolwa in 2012 where I painted large silk flags of an octopus, whale and turtle, and had my work in numerous exhibitions.”

It is obvious Ms Hill's art creates happiness and conversation as her home is a colourful and lively abode with her paintings adorning every wall.She uses a spare room at home as her makeshift studio. “I would get so into my painting and it would turn dark and I realised I had been painting for many hours,” she says.

Although Ms Hill's health has deteriorated she is still able to create her beloved pieces. “I had to stop for a while but I’m working on a big painting now,” she says. “I won’t sit around and mope. My paintings make me happy because of the beautiful colours and if I can do it then I will.”

Ms Hill is grateful for having the home services of ECH staff and attributes this support to her improved health.

“I thank the girls so much,” she says. “When they come in they are so sweet and kind. It’s such a wonderful thing and it’s like having a family member here. They do their bit and I look after what I can until they come the next time.

“I feel very easy with them and we communicate well. If I wanted to change anything with the services I receive it’s easy to do. It’s nice to hear their pleasant voices and they make you feel so special.”

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