Diversional therapy praised

Cinderella play lifts spirits of Calvary residents

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 11:10 14/09/2012
Diversional therapy at Calvary
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

Jean Fisher (left), Naomi Knip and Margaret Leonard look at soaps during diversional therapy at Calvary Hospital in Invercargill. The rest home was highly commended this week at the Innovative Delivery awards.

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Residents of an Invercargill rest home set aside their bedroom slippers for a glass slipper during their rendition of the play Cinderalla.

Cinderalla comes to Calvary not only lifted the spirits of Calvary Hospital residents but won them an award in the process.

The performance was highly commended by the New Zealand Aged Care Association for the efforts of organisers and to enhance the excellence of care for residents.

Residents were praised at the Innovation Delivery Awards in Rotorua this week for the play, which was part of diversional therapy at the hospital.

Diversional therapy aims to improve the lives of residents through creative tasks.

Today marks the end of Diversional Therapy Week.

Calvary diversional therapist Bev Harvey said it was a nice way to end the awareness week and residents were thrilled their efforts were recognised.

''The residents wanted to watch a play, so instead of taking everyone out of the hospital, we put on our own production,'' she said.

Residents, staff, volunteers, family and the wider community worked together to put on the production.

''Bringing the production in-house brought everyone together. Disabilities were put to one side and taken over by confidence, laughter and pride,'' she said.

The oldest actress was 95 years old and the youngest was 5.

Mrs Harvey designed the customers and directed the play that was performed for other Invercargill rest homes.

Professional programmes were also created for the show.

Everyone had fun participating and they are all still talking about it, Mrs Harvey said.

She said the residents look forward to Diversional Therapy everyday because it allowed them to be creative and to feel uplifted.

''Residents get a real sense of achievement and often they do things they have never tried before. It enhances their quality of life,'' Ms Harvey said.

The Cinderalla play was part of the residents' "My Quality of Life" plan and they were looking forward to next month's plan, she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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