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Physical activity for older people championed

Aileen Campbell alongside residents, left to right, Ian Whitton, Dorothy Bell and Betty Hillis, during the morning workout routine.
Aileen Campbell alongside residents, left to right, Ian Whitton, Dorothy Bell and Betty Hillis, during the morning workout routine.

A £1 million drive to make sure that older people enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity has been launched in Perth.

The Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate announced the initiative at Viewlands House Care Home, aimed at increasing levels of physical activity in older people across the care sector .

This will be done through an improvement programme which will provide training and development to staff in care services in different areas in Scotland.

Research has shown that in some cases older people in care can spend nearly 80% of their day sitting which can have a serious impact on physical and mental health.

Local learning events will be run, and the programme team will offer support to care services to help increase levels of physical activity in the people they care for.

Care staff will have the opportunity to share good practice with one another, develop their skills and learn about ways to keep physically active themselves, in order to live well.

Announcing the funding, minister for public health and sport, Aileen Campbell, said: “We know that being active has a hugely positive effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing, and that doesn’t diminish with age.”

Paul Edie, the chair of the Care Inspectorate, added: “As Scotland’s social care scrutiny and improvement body, we have a duty to ensure that everyone who uses a care service receives good quality care which meets their needs and respects their choices and rights.

“Some people in care just need a little help to keep active, and that often means taking part in something as simple as helping to prepare a meal or going for a short walk.

“We know being supported to take part in everyday activities that many people take for granted, but which can become more difficult as we get older, can have a tremendously positive effect on people’s quality of life and their experience of care.

“When people are supported to take part in activities of their own choosing, it makes a difference.”

In Scotland there are 866 care homes for older people, approximately 2,500 care at home/housing support services, and many other support services for adults.

Almost 110,000 people work in care services and the funding should help staff become more confident about the roles they can play in supporting physical activity.

 

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