Here in East Dunbartonshire, we have an ever ageing population, therefore, falls and the consequences of falls are a major and growing concern for older people and health and social care providers. Well-organised services and evidence-based guidelines can prevent many falls and fractures in older people within our local community.
Start Active, Stay Active: A report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers (2011) delivers the key public health message that physical activity has a vital contribution to make in achieving good health and well-being in later life. This report suggests that physical activity programmes, which emphasise balance training, limb co-ordination and muscle strengthening activity, are safe and effective in reducing the risk of falls.
The Health Improvement Team and Allied Health Professionals (AHP’s) within East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership work collaboratively with East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture to improve accessibility for local residents to become more active. This partnership supports the AHP Directors Physical Activity Pledge. East Dunbartonshire HSCP provide local residents with opportunities for regular tailor-made physical activity programmes which may contribute to preventing a first fall and future recurrent falls.
Our programmes have been designed by health care and fitness specialists and are quality assured and tailored to the needs of the individual with various physical abilities and health conditions and are described in detail below:
East Dunbartonshire HSCP Programmes:
Walking within East Dunbartonshire is a free initiative in a fun environment and lead by qualified Walk Leaders. The walks range between 30-60 minutes which are low level and ideal for anyone recovering from an injury or illness or just wanting to become more active. Studies show that by taking part in regular physical activity, it can reduce the risk of falls in Older Adults by 30%. We have 7 walks on offer every week with around 20 participants per walk taking part. Not only are our participants keeping physically active, they are having fun in all weathers, and are helping to reduce social isolation. It’s a great way of getting out and taking in the sights of the local landscape.
East Dunbartonshire also offers Vitality Classes. Vitality is a programme of exercise classes that supports participants to exercise at a level suitable to their abilities. Classes are designed in conjunction with NHS GGC and aim to help build and maintain: strength, Co-ordination, Endurance and Flexibility.
Vitality is designed for people living with a range of medical conditions such as; Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, cardiac conditions, osteoporosis, cognitive impairments and COPD or who have a fear of falling or find the strength and balance is impacting on daily activities.
The range of 4 Vitality classes is as follows:
- Strength & Balance Class
- Strength & Balance Circuit
- Step In Circuit
- Step Up Circuit
For patients who want to get more active and require additional one to one support to help them achieve their goals, Live Active is the answer. This 12 month programme whereby the one-to-one consultations are tailored to the individual – whether their goal is to become more active, eat healthier, lose weight, or work towards a healthier lifestyle. AHP’s can refer or this can be made through an individual GP.
“We have made new friends who want to do what we alI want to do, and that is go out walking. We have learned about parts of our town that we didn’t know about or hadn’t been to and now feel more confident walking about our lovely, scenic countryside. Some of us have started training to be walk leaders and have gained confidence in leading people” (Kirkintilloch Walking Group)
“Vitality Classes are great and easy to do. At 81, they keep me active and give me the energy I need to keep up with my grandkids” ~ (Alex, 81)
“The advisers at Live Active were fantastic. They really helped me find activities that I enjoyed and provided me with the encouragement to stay on track” ~ (Aileen, 44)
For more information regarding East Dunbartonshire HSCP Services, please contact David Inglis, Health Improvement Senior
on 0141 232 8225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org