Balhousie Wheatlands resident, Owen O’Rourke, is reaping the benefits of being able to put his woodwork skills to use.

Owen, who is living with dementia, used to work as a roofer and also enjoyed building bird and fairy houses as a hobby before he moved to Wheatlands.

Suzanne Williams, Activities Coordinator at the Bonnybridge care home, found a ‘build your own bird house’ kit while out shopping, and thought it would be perfect for Owen.

He was over the moon to have a new woodwork project to get his teeth into, and he even decided he didn’t need the instructions!

Suzanne said: “When I saw the build your own birdhouse kit, I just had to buy it for Owen, and he was so keen to take part.

“He was in his element as he focused on doing something meaningful he really enjoys, and his experience and knowledge came in very handy!

“We’re now looking into buying more kits so Owen and the other residents can utilise their skills.”

For those living with dementia, taking part in meaningful activities they enjoy is incredibly important.

It has been shown to improve their mental health, reducing feelings of stress and distress. It also keeps their bodies and minds active and maintains their fine motor skills.

David Wilson-Wynne, Specialist Dementia Lead at Balhousie Care Group, said: “It’s wonderful to see Owen putting his skills to such good use by building his fantastic bird house.

“Taking part in meaningful activities is so important for all of our residents, particularly those living with dementia as it evokes happy memories, reduces feelings of stress and distress and has huge mental and physical benefits.

“Suzanne went above and beyond the call of duty for Owen, and it is amazing to see the positive impact this has had on him.”