Twiddlemuffs and trauma teddies keep residents busy

Glengara resident, Alice Lovegrove

The residents of Glengara Care in Tumbi Umbi are enjoying a wide range of entertaining activities and events such as bingo, train your brain quizzes, and even pool noodle games.

There are also birthday celebrations for the residents and themed days to enjoy such as Christmas in July.

Glengara Care’s Diversional Therapist, Lauren Winstanley, delivers the tailored program of activities and events, and she said she loves seeing how the program improves the physical and mental health of the residents, while also helping them forge friendships.

“It’s all about keeping the residents occupied and connected with each other.

“There are some really good friendships here, its lovely to see,” Winstanley said.

The program took on extra significance during lockdown, which prevented residents from having visitors.

While the popular bus outings had to be modified and then put on hold, there have been some fun additions.

Residents have enjoyed making twiddlemuffs, which are knitted hand-warmers that provide sensory stimulation for people with dementia.

“We are planning to send them to a local aged care facility where a lot of residents have dementia.

“The residents have also made trauma teddies which we will give to the local paramedics to pass onto children who have been through a traumatic situation,” Winstanley said.

Another program introduced by Winstanley is Glengara Groceries, which involves the residents filling a trolley with crafts, treats and other items requested by the residents.

“It was useful as the residents haven’t been going out to get groceries and they haven’t had family coming in,” Winstanley said.

There were also some themed events to celebrate the Olympics.

Glengara resident, Alice Lovegrove, who moved to the facility at the beginning of the year said the events and activities helped her greatly during lockdown.

“I have missed my family terribly, these activities have helped to keep me busy and happy during this time,” Lovegrove said.

Another resident, Nita Bell is a big fan of bingo, word games and exercise classes which she said keep her active and alive.

“The activities have been wonderful to keep me on the go until I can see my family,” Bell said.

Fellow resident, Elly Buchanan, particularly enjoys the group activities, which she said have been beneficial for her mental health.

“I feel included, less isolated,” Buchanan said.

Winstanley said inclusiveness is at the heart of everything on the Glengara calendar events.

“We want to give every resident the opportunity to have fun, keep physically and mentally active and connect with one another,” Winstanley said.

Media release, Oct 26
Glengara Care