Whilst yoga might be better known for being practised by Zen-celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow or Madonna, it is now going to be part of a therapy programme for older people thanks to a £5,000 grant.
People living at Marlborough Court Care Home in Thamesmead, South London, have already had “taster” sessions of the popular exercise, which is practised in studios and gyms across the world.
Now, thanks to a bursary from the Foundation of Nursing Studies, the home has introduced an 18 month-long yoga programme, which will focus on teaching relaxing techniques that are suitable for older people and for those living with dementia.
These weekly classes will see people enjoy meditation, controlled breathing and other gentle yoga techniques. The exercise’s health benefits are well-known, and will help people sleep better and retain their fitness, whilst remaining as supple and mobile as possible.
Marlborough Court and yoga instructor, Tania Plahay, applied for the bursary based on the recommendation of Dr Theresa Shaw, CEO of the Foundation of Nursing Standards, who was very impressed by the home’s pilot yoga scheme which ran earlier on in the year.
Dr Theresa Shaw stated: “Yoga therapy in care homes is a fantastic and innovative idea and one which we think could help people across the board. Not only will it help improve people’s posture and sleeping habits but the weekly classes are also a great social activity which everyone can get involved in.”
Maggie Candy, Home Manager of Marlborough Court, said: “We are always trying to pioneer new activities to help residents lead a healthy and interactive lifestyle. We noticed a marked improvement in people’s health with the pilot scheme earlier this year so we are delighted to receive this bursary which will allow us to continue offering this innovative therapy.”
With 75 residents, Marlborough Court provides dedicated, person-centred for elderly people who are living with dementia, or who need nursing or respite care.