Melbourne News

Sensory sensations for seniors

Communications Office, Wednesday 2 October 2013

SENIORS at Villa Maria’s Bundoora aged care residence are delighted with an almost $100,000 makeover, tipped to bring invaluable therapeutic benefits to their lives.
Thanks to generous community support and donations from the Aged Persons Welfare Foundation and Dank’s Trust, not-for-profit aged and disability services organisation Villa Maria has just completed indoor and outdoor improvements at the Plenty Rd site. The recent additions are intended to help soothe, calm and stimulate the senses, particularly for residents living with dementia.
Villa Maria Bundoora Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator Lydia Pisevski said sensory boards, purple feature walls, lava lamps and new photographic prints showcasing significant landmarks from around the world would all help to trigger memories for residents to reconnect with their past, and stimulate new conversations and interests.
“A flower arranging area and a laundry room have also been installed, to give residents a real sense of being at home and experiencing day-to-day activities they may have previously enjoyed,” Lydia said.
A beautiful outdoor sensory garden with fresh herbs and brightly coloured flowers has also been established, building on the tactile and aromatic experience for over 90 residents.
“The garden is also just a relaxing outdoor area residents can either use to sit outside by themselves or with family and friends. Raised garden beds also ensure residents are able to feel and smell the variety of plants, which can have a calming influence.”
Villa Maria CEO Valerie Lyons joined residents and staff members on Friday September 20, to celebrate the new changes.
“Villa Maria is committed to ensuring each of our aged care residences provide a real home-like environment for our residents, where they can pursue their individual interests and feel comfortable and relaxed. As a not-for-profit organisation, we are extremely grateful for generous contributions from the community, and in particular the Aged Persons Welfare Foundation and Dank’s Trust, for making this project come to life and providing a real and positive impact on the wellbeing of our residents.”

Photo: Villa Maria's Lifestyle Assistant Annette McDonald with resident, courtesy of Villa Maria.