Now, more than ever we need to celebrate the bravery, resilience and strength shown by our elderly population as they struggle with our year-long pandemic.

Almost 30,000 more care home residents in England and Wales died during the coronavirus outbreak than during the same period in 2019, ONS figures show. But only two-thirds were directly attributable to Covid-19. The Office for National Statistics figures are the first to reveal the full toll on care homes, including deaths that happened in hospital.

There were just over 66,000 deaths of care home residents in England and Wales between 2 March and 12 June this year, compared to just under 37,000 deaths last year. Covid-19 was the leading cause of death for male care home residents, accounting for a third of all deaths, and the second most-common cause of death for female residents, after dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.my father passed away in 2019  and after returning to the UK, he started to look broadly at the issues that affect the elderly away from his immediate surrounding in Islington, North London. Where he makes sure he keeps in touch with several of his elderly neighbours who live alone.

In April 2020, shortly after the lockdown in the UK, his grandmother passed way. Due to travel restrictions during the pandemic it was impossible for Julio to go and pay his last respects and due to that sad loss, as well as the lockdown, it kick started Julio to do a portrait of his grandmother, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ as a tribute to her loving memory. The great power of the arts as a therapy enabled him to mourn his great loss and embarked him on what turned out to   be the start to the series ‘Golden Years’ he had been planning to do, followed by a portrait titled ‘Captain Sir Tom Moore’ as a tribute to him for his walk to raise money for the NHS and his human skills to bring the country together.

The piece was to pay tribute to those who have worked so hard to keep the country going throughout the pandemic, including NHS staff and, of course, our hero Captain Tom”.

I wanted to give everyone a chance to be the in with a chance to have the ‘Golden Oldie’ in their life to be painted by himself and be included in the series.

All people need to do is to  submit a photograph of them with a couple of sentences as to why they are so special to you.

Just send to julio@juliocesarts.com

My full body of works can be seen at www.juliocesarts.com

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