Building is ‘beautiful’ for model fan Olwen, 98  

6 February 2024

A 98-year-old resident at our Winchester Dementia Care Home has proved you are never too old to have fun with Lego.

Olwen Davies and fellow residents of our Winchester Dementia Care Home St Catherines View used hundreds of the popular toy building blocks to make models of a flower arrangement and fish swimming inside a tank.

In guided sessions focused on therapy and reminiscence, team members at St Catherines View invited the participants to use their imaginations, go hands-on and get creative.

Olwen, who concentrated mainly on the floral model, said: “It was beautiful. I used to do this many years ago. It is so much fun.”

Companionship Team Leader Laura Sheldrake said: “This was a trip down memory lane as our residents remember doing Lego with their children.

“We chose to do one with a fish tank as people love looking at the tank on display in our reception area.

“I printed off some pictures of fish and fish tanks and let the residents decide what they would build from there. They got involved straight away.

“They really loved doing different fish, especially a crab. It all turned into a bit of a masterpiece.

“And there was even more resident interest when they found that when you turn a knob on the side of the tank, the fish and jelly fish move about.”

Laura’s comments were echoed by resident Julia Chappell who said: “I really enjoyed working towards the finished piece, all very nice and good.”

Vanda Baker, Home Manager of St Catherines View, which is a dedicated dementia care home in Stanmore Lane, said: “Assembling and connecting Lego pieces, and working with their colours and shapes, is not only a great way to have fun and reminisce, it stimulates creativity, manual dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination too.

“Some Lego boxes have traditionally stated a tongue-in-cheek age range, typically ‘four to 99’.

“As our residents’ experience shows, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Everyone can enjoy it.”

The famous interlocking bricks of Lego grew out of an idea by a Danish carpenter and wooden toy maker, Ole Kirk Christiansen.

The first plastic toy bricks were manufactured in the late 1940s, aimed at building objects such as vehicles and buildings.

Since then, Lego has gone on to become the world’s biggest toy maker and one of the most famous brands in any industry.

The name ‘Lego’ is derived from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’ which means ‘play well’.