The importance for older people to keep their minds and bodies active cannot be understated. Lifestyle activities in aged care can provide a structured way to deliver these programs to residents in a safe and beneficial way.
For most residents who move into an aged care facility the transition does not necessarily coincide with a loss of mental and physical ability. The move may help them to simplify their lives to an extent, but for those who are still capable of remaining physically and mentally active, the relocation simply gives them more time to engage in their favourite leisure and lifestyle activities. At Lyndoch our Lifestyle Coordinators tailor programs and activities to the abilities and interests of the residents, however sometimes a novel activity may offer a solution to loss of physical and mental acuity, such as the Lyndoch Living Lego Club.
The Lego Club was inspired by the late Lindsay Brodie’s collection of Lego technics models. Volunteer John Morse* saw the interest of the male residents in these models and working with the Lifestyle Team, has used his knowledge and engineering skills to support male residents of the Riverside Hostel with the establishment of the Lego Club in 2018, which brings male residents together to team-build complex constructions, improve social integration and maintain brain function and motor skills. They have constructed at least 15 Lego Technic models so far.
Pics. Some of the finished Lego models on display in the sunroom
Last year new resident George Thornburgh was finding his feet and John invited him to join in the Friday afternoon Club “meeting” in the sunroom. George thought that building Lego was child’s play, however he sat down and watched the complex construction of a front end loader and the technical nature of the task drew him in. George had worked with vehicles and road construction throughout his life and was fond of cars and machinery.
When the coronavirus restrictions came into force in March this year it meant that our volunteers were unable to come and visit. Along with the other residents George was lost for motivation and missed the regular ‘meetings’. They had obtained a couple of new Technics models, and George decided that there was no use them sitting in the boxes until John came back (sorry John). The Club has restarted, led by resident George, with some assistance from Gino (physio), Matt and Maxine (lifestyle coordinators). George has completed the Jeep and the men are now on their way to completing the car carrier (awaiting a replacement piece being shipped by Lego).
George is very proud of what has been achieved and they have negotiated to get some extra shelving installed in the dining room to display the finished models. George’s daughter who lives in Melbourne has also sent him a Lego racing car, which he tells that it was purchased for a grandson but I think she had him in mind all along!
“We are very grateful for the professionalism and care the staff have shown”
Family of Living@Home clients
“We would like to acknowledge the fantastic support shown to this lovely couple by the Living@Home team and the flexibility and understanding of their care needs”
Family Member of Living@Home client
“The lady you sent over yesterday was delightful, and even made Mum a hot lemon drink and put her to bed”
Leanne (daughter of Living@Home client)
“What a wonderful job Trish and Liz do, we are so happy with the care they provide”
Family Members of Living@Home clients
“I really appreciate the support from the Lyndoch Living@Home team, it’s a huge help in managing my caring role”
Michelle (Living@Home client)
“A very big thank you to the wonderful staff who came into our home and cared for my husband. This respite break made a very difficult situation more tolerable and gave me something to look forward to”
Christine (Living@Home client)
“Geraldine is the about the best cleaner I’ve ever had!”
Maurice (Living@Home client)
“Jan is such a capable, competent and calming carer, I feel so safe in her hands. I could not ask for anyone better”
Joan (Living@Home client)
“I’ve always been a busy, practical person and I’m still a busy person – I’m still able to be very involved in the community, especially the Speedway. I’m a busy bloke!”
“I get spoilt rotten here! I really get cared for.”
Stuart (Swinton East)
“One of the lovely nurses had a great idea and planted out a raised bed with tomatoes and other plants and I enjoy getting out there and doing some work in the garden, collecting the produce.” “The staff are very, very nice. They greet you with a smile and do things very well.“
“I really enjoy the school kids visiting, and I’m amazed at the quality of the kids,
they’re all so nice!”
John (Lake Lodge)
“I’ve lived here for 5 years and I’m very happy with the nurses and other staff”
Margaret (Lake Lodge)
“I’ve made friends here that I wouldn’t have been able to meet living by myself at home. It’s like an extension of your family” “The staff are absolutely fantastic here, nothing is ever a problem for them. Right through to the maintenance men, the cleaners and gardeners and staff at the kiosk, they’re all obliging and always greet you with a smile” “At Lyndoch I get comfort, care and conversation, add a bit of fresh air and that’s exactly what you need in life”
Lynette (Swinton East)