The aim is to help patients who are frail to improve their level of physical functioning through targeted resistance based exercises so that when they go home they are stronger physically and emotionally. Hospital stays can accelerate muscle loss in older adults leaving them more vulnerable compared to when they were admitted.
Royal Voluntary Service has delivered the programme to 117 patients across Morecambe Bay and is now looking for volunteers to be trained so the programme can be extended to more wards across the Trust.
Move It or Lose It! was founded in 2010 by award-winning exercise instructor, Julie Robinson, who has dedicated her career to motivating thousands of people to keep active in later life. Aware of the social impact community classes have on the older adult population, Julie developed Move it or Lose it! to be able to train more instructors to provide classes in their local communities.
The instructors receive continual support through The Exercise Network (TEN) aiding their knowledge and delivery. This chair based exercise programme is innovative because all exercises are focused on tasks which help people maintain their independence such as getting off the toilet/chair, getting dressed, washing, and carrying shopping.
Karen Rose, Service Manager for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Trust on this innovative programme that helps to improve the outcomes for older people. “I became involved in the programme because I wanted to make a difference and to help patients take the steps they need to in order to go home from hospital. Helping patients with simple exercises ready does make a difference to them physically and emotionally, reducing the anxiety many older people face. “We often do the sessions when families are visiting which gives them the chance to see what their loved one can do in terms of exercise, so they in turn can continue to support them in hospital and when they go home.”
Royal Voluntary Service also delivers a session of the programme to older people at Hindpool Community Centre, Barrow, on a Thursday. The session supports the education of the general population on self-care and exercise important aims of the Better Care Together strategy, which the Trust has adopted along with its Bay Health and Care Partners.
Barry Rigg, Community Engagement Manager, UHMBT, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working between the Trust and the third sector. “The work that Royal Voluntary Service is doing is really inspiring and is helping patients not only to do gentle chair exercise but helps with social interaction, confidence and family support. “It is crucial that the service continues to be a success but we do need more people on board to help the service to expand to more wards and departments so that it can flourish even further.”
If you are interested in volunteering for the programme please contact the Royal Voluntary Service Community Hub on 01539 760001 or [email protected] Royal Voluntary Service wants to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved whatever their age. It is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the country. Its 35,000 volunteers help older people stay active, independent and able to continue to contribute to society. They do this by providing practical and emotional help where and when it’s needed.