A conference to celebrate and promote physical activity in care homes was held in Perth last week.
Staff from care homes in Perth & Kinross discussed innovative ideas to encourage care home residents to increase levels of physical activity and move more often.
The event, which was organised by Perth & Kinross Care Home Activity Network (CHAN), also celebrated the success of national improvement programme Care About Physical Activity (CAPA), which is led by the Care Inspectorate to support staff across the care sector to help increase levels of physical activity in the older people they care for.
Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership falls service manager Carolyn Wilson said, “Testing these simple ideas in care homes has led to enormous benefits, even for the most frail residents.
“Since the CAPA programme began, many residents have shown increased independence, some have been able to reduce their pain medications and others have increased their mobility.
“Being engaged in meaningful activity promotes self worth and gives meaning, purpose and enjoyment to each day. People of all ages can experience benefits to their health and wellbeing by simply increasing their levels of physical activity on a day-to-day basis.”
Over the last 18 months, 13 local care homes in Perth & Kinross have been involved in the CAPA programme leading to significant benefits for residents.
As part of the project, care homes have made simple changes to promote activity and general wellbeing. These changes have included alterations to garden grounds and changes to dining experience to improve social connections.
Care services are also accessing local physical activity provision. Some residents have been attending Bells Sports Centre to use the All Ability Adapted Bicycles, others have enjoyed local health walks and some have been taking part in weekly swimming sessions at Perth Leisure Pool. Residents have also enjoyed golfing activities, tea dances and exercise classes. So far, 41 care staff have also been trained to teach strength, balance and chair based exercises.
The CAPA programme is working with eight partnerships across Scotland to build the skills, knowledge and confidence of social care staff to enable those they care for to increase their levels of physical activity and move more often.
The CHAN provides a forum for activity leads and staff from care settings to network, train, share good practice and resources, and support the development of meaningful activity opportunities in Perth & Kinross.