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Enliven: never stop playing

Enliven: never stop playing

Reevedon Home resident Sylvia Oliver gives Lego a go.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

The famous words from George Bernard Shaw couldn’t be truer according to the residents of Enliven’s Reevedon Home and Reevedon Retirement Village in Levin.

Residents of the Enliven home and village visited the Olafur Eliasson: Cubic Structural Evolution Project (also known as the Lego exhibition) at Te Takere last week.

Reevedon Home recreation officer Davina Rawiri says Reevedon’s elders did their part to contribute to the towering Lego structures.

“It was a lot of fun, some elders got involved while others were simply captivated by the amazing structures,” says Davina.

“They spoke about their grandchildren and great grand children playing with Lego and how it’s something all ages can enjoy. They were all amazed at all the combined efforts of strangers building together.”

She says continuing to “play” and take part in activities is important for everyone, particularly older people.

“Playing, or taking part in activities, helps to keep us young at heart, it stimulates the brain and encourages spontaneous activity which prevents boredom,” Davina explains.

“Play encourages laughter, which is very therapeutic and has positive effects on health. If we can look at medical treatment in a holistic view, we can place a bigger emphasis on the healing properties of play and how it can positively affect a person’s wellbeing.”

Davina explains that Enliven embraces the Eden Alternative model of care, which aims to alleviate loneliness, helplessness, boredom among elders.

“While medical treatment is important, having companionship, variety and spontaneity leads to a better quality of life,” says Davina.

“We ensure that residents have access to the things they love doing, such as hobbies, to have companionship with people and animals, and to be able to give back in some way and make a contribution.”

She says taking part in the Lego project at Te Takere has been of great benefit to the residents.

“It has given us the opportunity to give and contribute to a community project. While we were there we interacted with people of all ages, from all walks of life, and took part in a spontaneous activity, which is all part of our model of care.”

Reevedon Home and neighbouring Reevedon Village are both operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central.

For more information about Reevedon Home or Village in Salisbury Street in Levin, free phone 0508 36 54 83 (that’s 0508 ENLIVEN) or click here.

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