The last year has been extremely difficult for everyone, perhaps even more so for adults in later life. An Age UK national survey found that over a quarter of older adults can’t walk as far as they used to and that 1 in 5 feel less steady on their feet. The loss of core strength, balance and general physical fitness increases the risk of frailty and falling. The good news is this risk can be reduced by sitting less and moving more.
Buckinghamshire Council and Leap, the Active Partnership for Buckinghamshire have created 10,000 Home Wellbeing Packs to support residents since the beginning of February to recover that lost physical and emotional resilience. The packs are being distributed by over 75 Voluntary and Community Sector (VCSE) organisations and hundreds of volunteers.
If you meet at least one of the following criteria: aged over 70, living alone, shielding or on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list then you should receive a Home Wellbeing Pack soon.
The Home Wellbeing Packs consist of a DVD, Audio CD and Public Health England activity at home booklet providing a range of ways to access low intensity seated and non-seated exercises to be done weekly at home as well as various signposting leaflets to local services and guidance around improving emotional and physical wellbeing.
Jane O’Grady, Director of Public Health for Buckinghamshire County Council says:
“As we surpass the year mark of lockdown it’s important to recognise that some residents will be more impacted than others, especially those who are older or have been shielding. The simple exercises included within these packs will encourage these residents to sit less, move more and take small steps to recovering some of the lost strength and balance to allow them to return to their normal activity levels once restrictions have eased.”
If you meet the criteria for the packs and haven’t received one, packs can be collected from libraries across the county from 12th April – opening times can be found online at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/libraries
Chris Gregory, Head of Strategic Relationships at Leap commented:
“The collaboration across the statutory and CVSE organisations supporting adults in later life has been great to see, we want to particularly thank all the CVSE organisations and the hundreds of volunteers for helping to distribute the packs and for the encouragement they are giving to adults in later life to recover physically and emotionally”
To increase the usability and knowledge of the packs, Leap has offered all the Community and Voluntary Sector (CVSE) organisations involved a free one hour workshop from Active Medicine programme called ‘Helping People Become Active’. The workshop will help increase awareness of the benefits of sitting less and moving more to the physical and emotional health of residents and increase confidence of those supporting residents to raise the conversation, provide encouragement and signpost to appropriate local opportunities. So far over 300 resident facing statutory and CVSE roles have taken up the offer and are now part of a movement to recondition Buckinghamshire residents.
If you have any questions about the support available and or your organisation can help distribute packs to adults in later life please get in touch with Leap on 01296 585215 or via firstname.lastname@example.org