December 5, 2018

Programme to get care home residents more active a success

A physical activity initiative has delivered real health and wellbeing benefits to residents of a local care home by getting participants more physically active.

We, in partnership with Active Fife, worked with residents of Napier Care Home in Glenrothes to help battle sedentary behaviour that is common in care homes.

Our instructors began visiting the home and worked with staff to identify residents who they thought would benefit from the initiative. Making use of a treadmill in the home, participants were encouraged to get more active by walking, with the speed and length of time they walked for, increased over the weekly sessions.

The initial pilot period of eight weeks was so successful, further funding from Active Fife saw the project being extended for a longer period of time.

Fife Sports and Leisure Trust’s health and wellbeing advisor, Jamie Mason, said: “The project with Active Fife and Napier Care Home has been a fantastic experience and has delivered great results for those who took part.

“Not only did participants record an increase to their fitness levels, but they also saw an improvement in their balance and strength. Once the programme was extended for a longer period, we were able to engage with more residents so that more people could experience the benefits of getting active.

“As well as experiencing the health benefits, residents noted that they enjoyed the weekly sessions – particularly the one-to-one support and social aspect of getting involved.”

Now, the care home staff are carrying on the initiative, taking residents for walks and helping to support a more physically active environment in the home.

Vivienne McNiven, Active Fife’s Bums off Seats project officer, said: “Working in partnership has allowed us to expand our projects for walking in care homes.  With some joint funding from Paths for All, we are encouraging all care homes to try to walk more throughout the year.  Having a dedicated member of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust staff working in the home has shown real improvement in those that took part.

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