Mary Beth Burleson paints a stocking Christmas ornament at the Country Cottage Assisted Living on Thursday.

Archived Story

Seniors share through painting

Published 6:04am Saturday, December 1, 2012

Local artist Jessica Peppers has learned a lot through her painting, and one of the most important lessons she learned comes from the time she spends painting with the residents of Country Cottage Assisted Living in Russellville.
Peppers first started coming to the Cottage in April as a way to share her love for painting with others around her but what she didn’t realize were how many valuable things would be shared with her because of her time there.
“I first decided to do this because I thought the residents would really enjoy it and it would be a good activity for them to participate in,” she said, “but I think I ended up enjoying it more than they did. This has ended up being my favorite place to come and paint because of the sweet people here.”
Selena Jackson, who serves as the managing director at Country Cottage, said Peppers’ reaction to the time she spends with the residents is nothing new, though.
“We have several groups who come in and do activities with the residents,” Jackson said.
“We have church groups that visit and groups from the school who come by and people who will come in and have singings or other activities and all of them seem to have a really great time.
“Even though they come in to lift the spirits of the people who live here, most of them leave feeling like their spirits have been lifted.
“We have some really wonderful people who live and work here, so it’s easy to feel that way about a visit to the Cottage.”
Peppers said her “regulars” who always stop in and paint with her when she comes to visit have become her friends.
“They are such a hoot and they always keep me laughing,” she said. “It makes you really appreciate life when you see these residents and how much spirit and spunk they have. It just brings a smile to my face.”
Jackson said there are a myriad of activities for the residents to participate in that allow them to have fun and stay busy.
“We offer some activities ourselves, and we really appreciate people like Jessica who give of their time to come in and spend time with the residents.
“They always enjoy visitors and new things to do.”
Peppers said she was glad the residents enjoyed the painting and she was even more glad they continue to want her to come back.
“I hope there is someone who is willing to spend time with me when I’m that age,” she said, “and I hope I can be as much of a blessing then as these residents have been to me.”

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