Building brain power

LEARNING: Whyalla Men's Shed members Tony Shaw (left) and John Visi (right) with UniSA Occupational Therapy students Alice Brummitt and Molly McCarroll.
LEARNING: Whyalla Men's Shed members Tony Shaw (left) and John Visi (right) with UniSA Occupational Therapy students Alice Brummitt and Molly McCarroll.

Occupational Therapy students have been challenging members of the Whyalla Men's Shed to use their brain as part of a nine-week program.

University of South Australia students Alice Brummitt and Molly McCarroll have put together riddles and puzzles for members to solve each week.

"As you get older you get more forgetful, so the activities we've been trying so far are aimed at getting members to maintain their thinking skills," Alice said.

"In a group setting the men are competitive against one another so we make that aspect of the shed culture part of the tasks."

The students have focused on making the activities as diverse as possible to cater to the different backgrounds of the members.

"We're trying to make sure we cater for all those needs so everyone can be involved," Molly said.

The key challenge for Alice and Molly will be to create a sustainable program that will continue at the shed once they have moved on.

"Sustainability is one of the main outcomes we're looking for, but also finding activities that the guys are interested in and that are challenging for them," Molly said.

"If people who want to join the shed see there are other activities on offer, that it's not just all about woodwork, it might give them another reason to join."

Men's Shed member Brian Marshall said four lots of Occupation Therapy students had done placements at the shed, with positive results.

"We believe this is quite good for both us and the students because they get the opportunity to see what happens in regional areas and we get to have their company for nine weeks," he said.