Walking charity Paths for All’s Care About Walking project to improve the lives of older people has won the Coaching for an Active Life Category of sportscotland’s Coaches, Officials and Volunteer 2019 awards.
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 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; and, 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 received 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.
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.”
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 from Paths for All’s website at www.pathsforall.org.uk/care-about-walking.