Mercedes College students helping MercyCare Wembley demetia patients keep up to date with current affairs

Ted Edwards, Natasha Webb, Kevin Bean and Mehak Satnan.
Ted Edwards, Natasha Webb, Kevin Bean and Mehak Satnan.

MERCEDES College students are helping Wembley residents living with dementia keep up to date with current affairs.

MercyCare’s respite centre, for people 65 years and older with the brain disease, receive prepared presentations from the students with local and national news updates and weather reports as part of their Service Learning Program.

Centre manager Paula Bignell said having young people volunteer at Davis House was invaluable.

“The people we support at Davis House respond well to the additional enthusiasm and vibrancy the students bring,” she said.

“They enjoy having younger people around to interact with.

“People experiencing dementia may find their awareness and knowledge of details like the day of the week, news and current events, are affected.

“The presentations the students give help them to keep in touch with what’s happening in the world and remain connected.

“The interaction with the students has triggered people to reminisce and share their life stories on travelling, and the communities they have previously lived and worked in.”

Student Natasha Webb (14) said the presentations often jogged memories and encouraged people to talk about their life experiences.

“I enjoy interacting with elderly people because they tell me about how life was when they were younger and about things that I wouldn’t experience now; it’s really interesting,” she said.

“If they’ve lived somewhere else in Australia besides Perth they get to hear about what the weather is like in that place and it brings back memories for them.”