We believe everybody
deserves to enjoy life,
whatever their age

Dementia resources improve wellbeing
Enliven Recreation Advisor Mary Lawson surrounded by the new recreation resources.
Enliven Recreation Advisor Mary Lawson surrounded by the new recreation resources.

Woburn Home resident Allan* used to fret when the sun was going down. He was used to packing up his carpentry tools for the day and heading home to find his wife and children waiting for him at the dinner table. Feeling confused, he would pace about relentlessly, trying to find his way home.

But now thanks, in part, to Enliven’s recreation programme and new dementia resources, Allan has engaging and meaningful activities to keep his mind active throughout the day.

Now, when it’s time for the sun to go down Allan doesn’t try to find his way home.  He knows he’s already there.

Last year supporters of Enliven’s Wellbeing Appeal contributed more than $12,000 to Enliven Central’s unique recreation programme.

Recreation Advisor Mary Lawson explains Enliven’s recreation programme is different because it’s not just about providing entertainment.

“Our Eden Alternative philosophy of care is all about creating elder-centred communities,” explains Mary.

“Our recreation programme isn’t about providing entertainment at set times and days, it’s about providing on-going opportunities for companionship, spontaneity and fun, and meaningful activity.  We all need those things in our lives, regardless of age.”

Mary goes on to explain new specialist resources introduced to Enliven’s five dementia units are making a noticeable improvement in residents’ overall wellbeing.

“The resources are used to bring residents together for companionship, to evoke memories and encourage the elders to join into discussions and activity…their connection with the world around them improves…you see a sparkle in their eyes,” says Mary.

“Access to stimulating and meaningful activities makes for a better quality of life for residents. By facilitating this we support residents keep up with their hobbies, interests and passions in a way that’s right for them,” Mary explains.

Woburn Home recreation officer Subashni Reddy says the resources have especially helped elders who used to experience sundown syndrome at the end of the day.

“Often elders with dementia get restless, frustrated and upset at the end of the day, they start to pace and say they want to go home, but these resources help us take the elder’s mind off the time of day. It helps them stay engaged with us and the other residents,” says Subashni.

Subashni says the resources also help to facilitate reminiscing sessions and discussion.

“A lot of the new recreation tools are suited to groups and they get everyone interacting and sharing stories which helps to bring back memories,” says Subashni.

“We are so thankful for the new resources, it makes a big difference.”

Enliven’s recreation programmes are not government funded. To support the programme, through making a donation or volunteering your time, call us on 0508 TO HELP or click here to make an online donation.

* – name changed to protect the resident’s privacy.


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