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22nd December 2014

Activities in care services

Activities in care servicesThe Care inspectorate in Scotland has participated, with Loughborough University in producing a support package 'Care... about physical activity' to encourage activities in the care of older people.

The programme consists of a booklet and DVD, and covers case studies, risk enablement and links to the National Care Standards.

Improved wellbeing and fun for all

It is good to see that these lessons are being taken up and implemented in a Perthshire partnership CHAN: Care Home Activity Network. One development here has been the establishment of indoor golf sessions involving care home residents and the planned involvement of pupils from local schools. The activity sessions are helpful on many levels: improved physical health and wellbeing, with reduced number of falls; increased social and intergenerational interaction with the community; and the sheer fun for all involved. The Care Inspectorate has said that: "The project delivers positive outcomes for people in terms of health and wellbeing and offers sustainable relationships in terms of younger people and older people from different care homes. It also meets many strategic objectives such as the Active and Healthy Ageing Plan for Scotland.”

Another recent development in conjunction with the NHS Tayside and Perth Leisure Pool has been the development of swimming for older people. This involves special training for carers to learn to support older people in the water, and again meets many needs for exercise, social interaction and enjoyment of life.

Socialising in a community environment

The Falls Service Manager with NHS Tayside says: "It’s a great example of social care, health care and leisure services all coming together in a joined up way and it shows what you can achieve with a multi-partner project. Residents have the opportunity to take part in a meaningful activity which they previously enjoyed and can socialise with others in a community environment. Then there are the physical and mental health benefits from exercise and the stimulation of interacting with others, plus the joy of having fun."

The Care Inspectorate has welcomed this programme also, saying that, "the benefits to people’s health and wellbeing are tremendous. It also meets many strategic objectives such as the Active and Healthy Ageing Plan for Scotland."

It is good to see these activities and interests are being extended to older people and helping them to rekindle the kinds of skill and enjoyment which makes life worthwhile for all of us.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Tony Clarke

Scottish Care Inspectorate Specialist

Tony began care work as a care assistant in care of the elderly here in Scotland in the 1970s. He very much enjoyed promoting activities, interests and good basic care. After a gap to gain a social work qualification, he worked in management of care services, latterly as a peripatetic manager which gave him experience of a wide range of services.

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