A campaign to support older people experiencing care to move more often has been hailed as a success by independent research.
In 2016 the Care Inspectorate was commissioned by the Scottish Government to deliver the Care…About Physical Activity (CAPA) improvement programme which aimed to improve the health and wellbeing, independence, and overall quality of life of older people experiencing care across Scotland.
The programme empowered care staff with the confidence, knowledge and skills to promote and enable opportunities for movement for older people experiencing care.
The programme was delivered across areas in Scotland and involved up to 140 care services including care homes, reablement services, day care, sheltered housing and care at home services.
Now independent research has found that older people involved in the programme have significantly improved their hand grip strength, their low leg strength, gradually increased their flexibility which improved mobility and levels of independence and significantly reduced their likelihood of falls as a result of moving more.
Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “We know that older people, and particularly older people in care, are likely to be less physically active than other age groups. In 2016, to address this, we provided the Care Inspectorate with £1 million funding for the CAPA programme.
“The programme encourages people that being physically active is a valued goal as part of healthy ageing. Care staff are offered support to add this into daily routines.
“This evaluation shows that the programme has made a real difference to the lives of older people in care and that is why we have provided an additional £730,000 to the Care Inspectorate to expand and embed the CAPA programme throughout Scotland over the next 18 months.”
Gordon Weir, interim chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “We are delighted that this research has shown the significant improvements to physical, emotional and mental well-being that have been brought about through something as simple as being encouraged to be more active.
“The CAPA programme is about making small changes that make a big difference. Even simple changes to routine, like being supported to get involved in preparing a meal or make a cup of tea, to taking part in activities that suit an individual’s own needs and circumstances, like going for a walk, can, and do, boost wellbeing.
“We’re delighted the hard work that so many people put into the programme across care settings throughout Scotland has been recognised in this way.”
The research also found the programme supported people to feel “significantly happier, more satisfied with their lives, more worthwhile and they felt less anxious,” after being involved in the CAPA programme.
People experiencing care also reported improvements in their quality of life including a sense of purpose , being more socially connected, a greater sense of wellbeing, and more confident, as a result of moving more each day.
For more on the CAPA programme, visit: http://www.capa.scot/
Picture (c) Care About Physical Activity.