TAFE students develop program for people living with dementia

By Vanessa Wiltshire

TWO Bendigo TAFE students have developed an interactive program to help develop and sustain cognitive development through Heathcote Community House.

‘Active Minds’ was created by Jodi Perdon and Mel Hubbard as part of their course placement in the Diploma of Community Services.

“The program is designed for people living with dementia; however, anyone who wants to keep their mind active, learn new skills or even brush up on them will get benefit,” Mel said.

“It’s social, fun and inclusive. One of the main aims is to help improve and sustain cognitive health, hand-eye co-ordination and memory.”

Held each Thursday at the Community House, from 9.30am to noon across a five-week period, Active Minds offers a series of creative and engaging activities.

Last Thursday, participants made shadow boxes planted out with garden succulents. There were activities to stimulate the mind and help hand-eye co-ordination including quizzes, colouring and board games.

As Jodi and Mel’s placement draws to a close, both say Active Minds is a program they would love to see continue.

“It's of real benefit to the people who are getting involved and I feel like we're just getting traction,” Jodi said.

“If one or two people could see themselves volunteering please get in touch with Heathcote Community House co-ordinator Vicki Forde.

“Next Thursday we are making dream catchers. Come on down and see how it all works.”

Anyone wishing to participate in Active Minds should book at the Community House on (03) 5431 0930.