• Ted’s new lease on life at 97

    Ted’s new lease on life at 97

    Resthaven Onkaparinga Community Services client, Mr Edward ‘Ted’ Jones, stumbled upon his creative side a number of years ago, and hasn’t looked back!

    Mr Jones says, ‘I used to build kitchens back in the day, and I was an electrician in the British Royal Navy during World War II. It was nothing glamourous, but it was a good life with my wife, Eileen.’

    At the age of 52, Mr Jones endured a critical vehicle accident, leading him into early retirement.

    ‘It was the first time in my life where I wasn’t working, so Eileen and I switched up roles. I started learning how to cook and bake, and she went off to work.’

    ‘We both enjoyed learning new skills, and I found I had a knack for baking chocolates—something I never would have discovered otherwise.’

    Following the death of his wife, after 72 years of marriage, Mr Jones’ world turned upside down.

    ‘Kath [daughter] and Tom [son-in-law] took me in and made it their mission to find me a new purpose. I tried my hand at most things; basket making, crocheting, and baking. Anything where I could use my hands I enjoyed, and discovered I was quite good at designing.’

    After an otherwise uneventful trip to the post office, the family came home with a picture calendar and an acrylic painting set.

    Table full of paintings and paints

    Kath says, ‘Dad enjoyed recreating the landscape and animal photos from the calendar and started experimenting with different shades and techniques. We kept coming home with new calendars, and the more he painted, the more he thrived.’

    ‘Soon, he was painting every day, for hours on end, so Tom built a studio for him in the garden.’

    Mr Jones says, ‘Every day, I walk out there at around noon, and I don’t come back inside until 4:00pm.’

    ‘I get three things done in that time. I paint, move over to my reading chair, then have a snooze!’

    On discovering a new lease on life at 97 years old, Mr Jones reflects, ‘Having something for yourself, something you can work on, and improve, is important for everyone.’

    ‘I wake up every day with something to look forward to, and that’s the key.’

    With weekly assistance from Resthaven Onkaparinga Community Services, Mr Jones plans to continue painting in his studio for many years to come.

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