Residents from Fairview Care Home in Bannockburn are benefiting from Care about Physical Activity (CAPA) – a Care Inspectorate improvement programme to boost physical activity for older people experiencing care by having opportunities to move more. Experts say moving more often is a really important way for older people to stay healthy and well.
The programme is having a particularly positive impact on resident, Innes Craig (aged 65) who is now moving and socialising more. The home’s improvement journey is about getting people who are in bed all the time to get up and to move more. Staff have started to work with Innes who recently had a stroke.
Innes has an electric wheelchair but spent long times in bed everyday watching TV. His wheelchair was never used.
He told staff that he didn’t have much confidence and felt out of place with the other residents who are older than him and have different care requirements to his own.
This means that from Innes’ point of view, there aren’t many people in the home (aside from staff) that he feels he can socialise with, so he prefers to stay in his room. He was also concerned about not getting back to bed as quickly as he’d like. He doesn’t like to sit around in public and prefers to go straight back to his bed after any activities. He felt quite frustrated and angry and had a very low mood.
Mags Hughes, Improvement Adviser, Stirling and East Renfrewshire said: “Innes was very agitated when I spoke with him. He told me that he wasn’t getting out of bed because staff didn’t put him back when he wanted to go. This is why he refused to get up.”
Innes was struggling to come to terms with his stroke and what had happened to him. However staff began an improvement plan. They spent time with Innes to find out more about his fears and what interested him in life. This uncovered a number of things which staff began to work on.
Mags continued: “It has taken a long time, but now instead of saying he will not get out of bed, he has started to say that he will think about it when opportunities are discussed with him.”
“The service has a duo (George and Jane) who visit on Fridays to take an exercise class for an hour. George is ex-army and we discussed the possibility of him spending one-to-one time with Innes. George agreed as did Innes, which was a brilliant turnaround.”
Louise Owen, Wellbeing Coordinator at the home explains what’s been happening over the last few weeks. Louise said: “In week one, George and Innes had a planning chat and Innes revealed that he felt let down as staff didn’t get him dressed and he wasn’t even sure if his clothes still fitted him as it had been such a long time since he was last in them.”
“The following week, through the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) process a plan was put into place. When Innes got up, staff helped him to dress and he had a short one-to-one session with George. Staff made sure Innes was put back to bed after the session ended. Innes told us that he loved it and said he wanted to do this again. So we’ve arranged this for George and Innes each week. Innes has gone from spending five minutes with George to spending a full hour with him. His progress really is amazing, and you can see the difference it has made to him.”
When asked about the sessions, Innes said: “I was doubtful that staff here would coordinate things to enable me to do this. But it’s going well. I know I have something to look forward to. I have hope. I suppose I laugh more. I no longer feel like a pauper and can pay for chocolate and toiletries.” (Innes previously had no access to his money since he’d moved in to the service. This is something that the service has rectified and he now has a money box in his room and a view to get his own bank card).
Louise continued: “Innes asked if we thought his wheelchair would get along the path outside so that he can go into town. He is now thinking about socialising more outwith the home, something staff are trying to arrange for him. Innes is a massive fan of horses and Trotting events. We plan to take him and a few other residents to Corbiewood in May. He now uses boxing gloves and pads at his sessions with George which he loves. Innes also gets up and dressed for specific activities – something he has not done for a very long time.”
Mags continued: “It’s great to hear about Innes and the great work happening at Fairview. 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. When I last visited, staff were quite emotional about the progress with Innes. They previously thought they would never see the day that he would actually get out of bed.”
George continues to work with Innes and has given him exercises to practise between sessions. He is now moving his legs regularly – something he wasn’t able to do before – and is becoming increasingly mobile as the weeks go on. It has positively impacted his confidence and self-esteem. He now feels much more independent and optimistic about life.
The Care Inspectorate is encouraging all care services to get involved with promoting physical activity for older people. For more information, visit www.capa.scot
Notes to editor:
Care About Physical Activity (CAPA) is a £1m improvement project funded by Scottish Government and led by the Care Inspectorate to support staff across the care sector to help increase levels of physical activity in the older people they care for.
The programme supports the Scottish Government’s 2020 vision of maintaining people in their own home or in a homely environment, prevention of ill health and admission to hospital and supporting self management.
In Scotland there are 866 care homes for older people, approximately 2,500 care at home/housing support services, and many other support services for adults.
Research has shown that in some cases older people in care can spend nearly 80% of their day sitting which can have a serious impact on physical and mental health.
Almost 110,000 people work in care homes, care at home and housing support services. This is a regulated workforce regularly engaged in professional development. There is therefore significant opportunity to ensure these staff become more confident about the roles they can play in supporting physical activity.
Research published in 2014, (Barber (2014) Journal Ageing Physical Activity), showed that older people in nursing care spend 79% of their time sitting, 14% in low activity, 6% light activity and 1% moderate activity.