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Losing Sight: Blind Author Uses Creativity to Heal

Our senior years are known for settling down, ticking things off our bucket list and spending time with grandchildren.

But, in 2018, these dreams were dashed for retirees, Bettina and Gabriele Ricciuti, when Gabriele deteriorated into blindness.

‘It was devastating,’ Bettina says. 'After a last attempt to hold onto his little remaining sight with stem cell therapy, Gabriele went completely blind. For Gabby, losing sight took away hope.’

‘To take his mind off things, we started chatting about how he left Italy after WW2 to come to Australia; his life in the cane fields in North QLD … soon, I made notes and that was the start of the book …’

Frontiers in Psychology (2019)[1], states that, ‘Depression experienced by older adults is proving an increasing global health burden …’ Yet, a proven, effective and fairly easy solution to prevent and treat depression is to use the Creative Arts—sharing stories, music, etc. Used as a therapy, Creative Arts can be used to release endorphins, which are known as the natural ‘happy feeling’ hormones.

With a new goal, the couple of fifty years, have re-instated their motivation after their whole life had been turned upside down. Their debut book, INSIDE LOVE: The Book of Gabriele, was released earlier this year and is a tribute to life through hard times—much like our current COVID-19 situation.

Read about Bettina and Gabriele’s life story: www.insidelovebook.com

[1] Dunphy, K, et al (2019), ‘Creative Arts Interventions to Address Depression in Older Adults: A Systematic Review of Outcomes, Processes, and Mechanisms’, Retrieved from - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6331422/