Cathy Togneri, Manager of Beechwood Care Home in Wishaw told us about how their walking group has had a very positive effect on one of their residents in particular.
“Before joining the walking group, Trish was a little more reserved and had taken to staying in her room with the baby dolls she was using for doll therapy.
“Although she was always pleasant, it was sometimes a challenge to get Trish to join in on any activities as convincing her to leave her babies while she went out to have fun was difficult. On a normal day, she would normally get out of bed `around lunch time.
“We found out about the group through social media, gave them a little call in January and were there the next week. They walk in all weathers so we were treated to snow a few of the weeks but Trish loved it.
“The group made us feel like family from the first day, welcoming us with open arms and making a real effort to get to know our personalities as well as our needs and levels of physical activity. The walk leaders, Eleanor and Christine, have always been very accommodating and make a real effort to
cater for all abilities.
“Trish has noticeably benefitted from the walks as there has been a noticeable improvement in her day-to-day walking, confidence and ability. She looks forward to our trip every week and is now comfortable to be separated from her babies to partake in activities and parties. She is very chatty with staff and residents and although I did say she was always pleasant, I have noticed a definitive lift in her mood. She’s very much the life of the party!
“It has benefitted the service as we now have two more residents joining us on our exploits and we hope to increase the number further In the near future
Harry and William also look forward to the walks and enjoy themselves every week. Also improving the strength of our links within the community is always welcomed as some from the group have expressed wishes to visit the home in the future to visit our drop in cafe or attend other events.
“As for tips, I’d just say bite the bullet. Research what’s going on in your community and make a commitment. I’m sure you’ll find a suitable activity that you can enjoy with like-minded people. There’s always plenty going on!”
Beechwood is now setting up their own walking group from the care home with Paula Hubens from Get Walking Lanarkshire.