November 22, 2015 7:42 pm

Edmonton-area seniors team up with local photographers

WATCH ABOVE: Residents at an Edmonton seniors home are showing off their photography skills. They've teamed up with professionals to display parts of their lives to their families and friends. Quinn Ohler reports.

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EDMONTON — Seniors at an Edmonton retirement home are giving the public a snapshot into their lives.

The residents of the Chartwell Wild Rose Retirement Residence teamed up with photographers from The IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta to take shots of what’s important to them.

“They’ve seen the lives of the residents through their eyes,” said Val Ripco, the recreation director at the facility. “They go to their rooms and they look at all their history.”

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Grace Boulter is 98 years old. She said she hadn’t really used a camera much before the experience.

“It’s out of this world. I just don’t understand it all,” she said about how quickly photography technology has changed in her lifetime. “It was such a challenge to start with, but now it’s an interesting project.”

“Amazing Grace,” as staff at the facility call Boulter, showed off antiques like more-than-century old dishes, as well as shots of her playing bingo and doing puzzles. But her biggest smile came when she showed off the pictures of her car.

“I’m still driving my car,” she beamed. “I’ve got my license until I’m 100!”

It’s stories like Boulter’s that the project is meant to capture. It’s also about keeping the residents’ minds in focus.

Boulter said the photography helped to keep her bright.

“At least I think it’s bright,” she laughed.

Francis Brown, another resident involved in the project, said it gives her family a glimpse into what it’s like to live in a seniors’ home.

“It’s not just sitting around doing nothing.”

Whether it’s war medals or quilting, residents said it’s nice to have their memories captured in photos that they can eventually pass down to their loved ones.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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