Support blooms for those with dementia
Roses and Daises are not only beautiful flowers and a fitting symbol of spring, but they are also supporting residents living with dementia at Bupa Aged Care in Roseville.
To the untrained eye, ‘Ikebana’ may seem like just a few flowers in a bowl. But a modern iteration of the traditional Japanese art form has had an amazing impact on the home according to the Recreational Activities Officer, Anna Timbang.
“Ikebana has been practiced for more than six hundred years and is an empowering form of self-expression for our residents who are living with dementia, they respond well and have shown improvements in their mood after a session,” Ms Timbang said.
A point which was reaffirmed by Bupa’s Head of Dementia Services, Margaret Ryan who said the innocuous nature of flower arranging provides an opportunity for socialising and a great initiative being run throughout Dementia Awareness Month.
“Interacting with flowers is a stimulative experience. A person living with a memory-loss condition may enjoy activities even if they do not remember them. What is important is that the moment is enjoyed, even though the experience may be soon forgotten, the sense of wellbeing and the positive feelings generated will be retained longer,” Ms Ryan said.
Partaking in group activities can be both engaging and satisfying even when language and processing skills are diminished by dementia.
“Flower arranging is simple, provides cognitive and sensory stimulation, can help preserve motor skills, and instils a sense of ownership, independence and accomplishment which is great for our residents living with dementia,” she said.
Loreto Kirribilli year 10 student, Isabella Rubina who volunteers at the home said the sessions have been just as beneficial for her as they have been for the residents.
Not everybody in the home has family around, so it has been nice to be able to come out and socialise with them, especially because my grandparents are no longer with me so these visits give both of us something to look forward to.
“My grandfather had dementia, so I am familiar with disease. Volunteering at the home has been an eye opening experience and reminded me to continue being more compassionate,” she said.