Held at the Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday 21st November the National sporting agencies’ lively event singled out the Care About Walking project for its work with older adults in care homes.
Older people in care homes can often experience a sedentary lifestyle, spending 80-90% of their time sitting or lying down.
The Care About Walking project was piloted with Parkdale Care Home in Auchterarder to integrate walking activities into the daily routine of care homes.
It has been expanded to work with five care homes in Perth and Kinross, in partnership with Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, Live Active Leisure’s Stride for Life project and the Care Inspectorate’s Care About Physical Activity (CAPA) programme.
The five care homes involved in the project are:
- Stormont Lodge – Blairgowrie
- Beech Manor Care Home – Blairgowrie
- Dalweem Care Home – Aberfeldy
- Ancaster House Care Home – Crieff
- Glencairn House – Auchterarder
Staff have been trained on walk leading, strength and balance exercises, and evaluation techniques to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence.
Care homes receive a resource pack containing posters and a step count chart to log the number of steps walked. Wall stickers and outdoor panels depicting strength and balance exercises have also been installed.
Walking activities are tailored to the residents’ needs through consultation and taster sessions. Some activities are self-directed, and others are led by a member of staff or a community volunteer. Residents feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with tangible improvements in functional fitness.
Jessie, one of the residents from Parkdale Care Home, who helped to develop the Care About Walking resource pack, said:
On a daily basis I keep a note of how many extra steps I have walked and then I total it all up monthly. It is very important to me to keep my mobility going, to be active and to also socialise on my walks around the building. I am encouraged by the staff to do this.
Julie Wylie, manager at Ancaster House Care Home has found activity goal setting very beneficial to residents. She said:
We were involved in the Care Inspectorate’s Care About Physical Activity programme and learned about the Care About Walking project with care homes by Paths for All. With their support this was a natural progression for us to continue to enable our residents to have the strength, motivation and confidence to achieve goals they did not previously think possible and become more active both within the care home and within their wider local community.
Age should not be a barrier to having dreams and aspirations and the sense of worth is amazing when you achieve them, no matter how big or small.
Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Falls Service Manager, Carolyn Wilson is delighted with this national recognition of the Care About Walking project. She said:
Moving more and walking is important for health and well-being and enables us to enjoy everyday life.
Through walking more and using the strength and balance exercise panels around the care home and in the gardens, residents are also reducing their risk of falling.
Our partnership with Paths for All working alongside residents and their care staff has enabled innovative and appropriate resources to be created. This is providing best practice for care services across Scotland.
Keeping active in later life can have mental health benefits for older adults in care as it gives them an interest, maintains functional fitness, and prevents boredom and aggressive behaviour.
Download the Care About Walking Resource Pack for free.
Paths for All’s Dementia Friendly Walking Project is supported by The Life Changes Trust, The National Lottery Community Fund, William Grant Foundation, The Robertson Trust, Spirit of 2012, sportscotland and the Scottish Government.
For further information please contact Paths for All’s Dementia Friendly Walking team at email@example.com or on 01259 218 888
Pictured are resident's from Beech Manor Care Home in Blairgowrie who held a Big Fit Walk, garden games and picnic with pupils from St Stephens Primary School to promote the importance of walking along with strength and balance exercises for elderly adults.