A newly opened men’s shed at a Glenvale aged care home is helping older men with dementia reconnect with their past and forge new friendships.
Toowoomba West Men’s Shed president Murray Trewavas has collaborated with Ozcare Aged Care Facility on Greenwattle Street to provide residents with projects to work on in between his monthly visits to the onsite men’s shed, known as “The Folly”.
“Currently the residents are making cat scratching towers to donate to the RSPCA so we do the major cutting then get the residents – the majority of who are in wheelchairs – to do the sanding, painting, gluing and assembly so they are involved in the whole process,” Mr Trewavas said.
“We have already built a rapport with them, laugh and joke with them and that’s what it is all about,” he said.
Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP praised Ozcare and Toowoomba West Men’s Shed for providing residents with important connection to their community.
“This on-site men’s shed gives residents an opportunity to socialise, share life experiences, work with their hands again and maintain a sense of purpose with their projects,” Mr Janetzki said.
“They are working on projects to donate to the community while enjoying the atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship,” he said.
Ozcare Toowoomba facility manager Jeramy Hope said the men’s shed, which opened last month, was helping people living with dementia reminisce about their childhood and lives on the land.
“We have up to 25 residents taking part and we have many people who have come to live at Ozcare from the greater Darling Downs area so they have a lot of experience of life on the land,” Mr Hope said.
“We have a lovely bunch of gentlemen here that were very much involved in the establishment of the men’s shed so there is a lot of ownership, excitement and expectations with their projects,” he said.
Mr Trewavas and a few other volunteers from the Toowoomba West Men’s Shed visit “The Folly” once a month to help residents with their work and provide new projects for residents to work on for the next month.