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5th September 2020 Latest News

Hope and Healing with Bird Boxes

bird box   Mule Shed

A collaborative project helps patients spread their wings

A $4 kit is providing hours of vital therapy for patients who require rehabilitation and others living with dementia in a collaborative project proudly supported by the Centre for Creative Health (CCH)!

Tucked away at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre is the CCH’s Mule Shed Activity Hub, which supports patients in their rehabilitation journey. Here, a project building Bird Boxes was hatched, which not only gives patients the opportunity to use their hands but undertake an activity with purpose.

The idea developed when Support Services Manager Shane McInnes saw a need for art therapy materials to support patients in the acute Mental Health Ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH).

Instead of patients at the Mule Shed fully assembling Bird Boxes, they are turning them into Ikea-style kits which are being delivered to older patients who have challenging Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD), giving them a chance to get hands on with a project, aiding their rehabilitation.

“Participating in meaningful activities is an important part of the treatment for both mental health conditions and BPSD,” occupational therapist for TQEH Older Persons Mental Health, Lorraine Ng, said.

“It is difficult to find activities that men find meaningful to do, but since the Bird Boxes flat packs have been available, there has been great improvement in the amount of engagement in activities by men on the ward.

“For people with dementia this activity engagement assists in helping them to feel in control of their lives and reduces agitation, aggression and code blacks.”

The kits provide 4-6 hours of therapy time for patients at Hampstead and TQEH. CCH’s Diversional Therapist and Activity Hub Coordinator Brad Wilson says the Bird Boxes are a small price to pay for the major impact it’s having on patients.

“It’s a huge amount of therapy for just $4 for a sheet of board,” Brad said.

“For our rehab patients, it’s really meaningful for them to do something with a sense of purpose behind it.”

CCH is so proud to be part of this initiative, supporting patients and even accelerating their rehabilitation in some cases.

If you’d like to support this project and bring hope and healing to patients across a number of health sites, consider a donation today.