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Alloa care home resident benefits from activity programme

An Alloa care home is hoping to keep its residents active through a new programme.

The Orchard Care Home is using a new initiative to boost physical activity in older people.

Care About Physical Activity is a £1 million Care Inspectorate project, that’s funded by the Scottish Government.

Research has found older people in care can spend nearly 80% of their day sitting, which has a serious impact on physical and mental health.

Robin Atkinson, who’s 70, is benefitting from the scheme.

When Robin first moved into the home he was very withdrawn and depressed.  He couldn’t move his hands or arms and he had lost a lot of body mass and muscle tone which meant that he couldn’t do anything for himself and was completely dependent on staff.  

Through CAPA, Fiona Johnstone, Care Home Manager and her team wanted to work with Robin to improve his mood, increase his mobility and enable him to do little things for himself. 

She said: “As a young man Robin was incredibly fit and a very strong-minded independent man.  He was actually in the SAS.

“He wasn’t able to hold a toothbrush.  We made a putty handle to wrap around it so that he could brush his teeth himself.  Over several weeks of doing this he has built up strength in his hands and arms.  We also worked with him to lift a face cloth to his face so that he could wash his own face.  By lifting his arm up regularly, it again built his strength up.  These little things have increased Robin’s mobility and independence.”

Once Robin started to feel better and he became much more positive in his outlook, staff were able to find out more about what he was interested in.  Robin soon started to come along to some of the activities run at the home. 

Lynne Hiddleston, Wellbeing Coordinator explained: “We have an ex-army officer who comes in to do group exercises.  Robin really enjoys this class and because of his past working life he feels he has an affinity with the officer.”

Robin’s wife, Halcoyne is delighted to see such positive changes in Robin. She said: “I notice improvements. He speaks more. He takes notice of things a bit more. I bring the dog when I visit.  This helps him as well. I think he feels more secure.  Of course, he still moans and groans at times – but he used to do that anyway!” 

Margaret Hughes, CAPA Improvement Adviser for Stirling and Clackmannanshire said: “It’s great to hear Robin’s story and the great work happening at The Orchard.  CAPA is all about working with people experiencing care to help them to make small improvements that can have a big impact on their quality of life, health and wellbeing.”

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