Thornhill Manor’s drill sergeant gets residents up and at ’em

Vicky Keenan drills in the message that activity and interaction are good for body and soul.

Vicky Keenan is undoubtedly Thornhill Manor’s most crafty resident. The innovative woman has rounded up a group of residents to help make games for the newly-introduced Monday Activity Mornings.

And best of all, the games are being crafted at woodworking classes that fit nicely into the Monday programme. The end result is that residents are being taught a new skill – woodworking – while expanding the village’s available stock of games.

Monday Activity Mornings were introduced a few weeks ago to encourage a more active lifestyle and offer a chance for greater social interaction. The initiative is aligned with the Eden Alternative philosophy of combatting loneliness, helplessness and boredom among elders.

Each Monday starts off with a walk through the pretty village. Residents with mobility challenges are pushed either by a friend or their careworker. Afterwards, participants gather at the community centre for refreshments and a few rounds of games that stimulate both body and mind.

“Vicky has come up with loads of ideas to make games, some therapeutic and others that focus purely on fun. She is so enthusiastic,” says Jackie Scott, the deputy manager of the Rand Aid-run retirement village in Modderfontein. “More and more residents are starting to participate. It is wonderful to watch how they interact with one another and how the careworkers are being stimulated and encouraged to do more with the residents they are caring for.”

The first woodworking session was held on September 25.


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