Balhousie Wheatlands care home in Bonnybridge is coming to the end of a month-long project focusing on physical health and mental wellbeing.

In conjunction with NHS Forth Valley, the popular care home has been working towards the Natural Health Award. The award was originally intended for child minders to use with children. However, as Wheatlands Care Home Manager Grace Sloan says: “Because of the focus on physical and mental well being, there’s no reason why it can’t be adapted to be suitable for the older adults in our care. The award was originally intended for child minders to use with children.The award demonstrates the variety of ways in which our residents can enrich their lives by improving their well- being using nature as the focus.”

Grace added: “The most recent activities have included building birdhouses that residents painted. The effects on the residents are striking. Both Margaret and Gillian, who took part, appeared to enjoy themselves, smiling and focusing on the task in hand. There were a few giggles as they helped staff put the pieces of the birdhouse together.”

Wheatlands started the programme in late Summer in conjunction with the Woodland Experience, which Balhousie Wheatlands has successfully taken part in for two years. The care home plans to work with children as part of the programme, to assist them in achieving the Natural Health Award also. Grace said: “Intergenerational work is key to the activity programme within the home and this project will enhance our learning together.”

In the first session residents made bird feeders, made from recycled plastic bottles. They used a pencil to make a perch for the bird, pipe cleaners to hang them from the tree, and filled them with mixed bird seed.