When Girl Scouts from Oakville Middle School needed a project, they didn’t look any further than their own front yard, right across the street from their school – to Bethesda Southgate.
They were looking for a way to serve the elderly who often have limited mobility and other health issues. The scouts learned that “puzzle therapy” has a positive effect on focus, cognition and problem-solving skills. It engages the participants, triggering conversation and reminiscing. The girls saw the project as a way to be a part of a solution to boredom and loneliness.
And so they set about collecting new, or nearly new, jigsaw puzzles. They were careful to find images that weren’t childish or too complicated, but were appropriate for challenging mature minds. They scoured garage sales and resale shops and solicited friends and relatives as well. Then they went about the arduous task of making sure the puzzles had all the pieces.
The result was a donation of 110-plus puzzles of 500 pieces or less for the enjoyment of Bethesda Southgate’s long-term care residents.
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