Residents at Juniper Hayloft have received a very special gift this Christmas thanks to the generosity of Soul Gestures. The local Perth charity donated twenty activity boxes designed specifically for residents living with dementia.

Catherine Kolomyjec, Co-Founder of Soul Gestures said that after a year where so many people have been isolated during COVID-19, it has been wonderful to be able to create love and joy for the residents at Juniper Hayloft in Martin.

“Soul Gestures is supported by local community groups, and this year, in honour of their late brother who worked in aged care, Corinne Verdile and Nat Wilkins created Love, Peace, Smiley Face Day and raised $2,311.84 for a random act of kindness for the residents at Juniper Hayloft,” Catherine said.

Students at Our Lady of Good Counsel Primary School in Karrinyup supported the kindness challenge by writing personalised letters to the residents and making them Christmas decorations.

“I know that the residents will feel so much love and sunshine in the letters from the children and we hope that they will continue to feel the love with the activity boxes in the new year. It has also been very heart-warming to have Corinne and Nat create sunshine out of their darkness in honour of their brother,” Catherine said.

The donated activity boxes will support residents living with dementia by:

  • Enhancing cognition
  • Combining mental stimulation with hand therapy to enhance fine motor skills
  • Helping them keep engaged through mental stimulation, sensory activities, and engagement
  • Providing purposeful activities related to the resident’s past which expands into meaningful conversations.

Corinne hopes that by celebrating her brother through this project, it will help make the residents smile.

“One of the best memories we can leave our family and friends is how we lived and loved our lives. It could be a rainbow, a song, or a glorious sunset – that makes them think of us and smile. We want the residents at Juniper Hayloft to be able to think of Gaetan and smile,” Corinne said.

Kirsty Ibbitson, Juniper Hayloft Residential Manager said the activity boxes have given residents a meaningful way to spend time while keeping engaged and a sense of purpose.

“It’s so important to retain an older person’s sense of self, while occupying time, and this is exactly what these boxes do. From everyone at Hayloft, I want to say thank you, these boxes are going to bring hours of joy into our home,” Kirsty said.

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