New Programme Aims to Help Older People in Care Homes Keep Active

Older people living in care homes across Stirling and Clackmannanshire are set to benefit from a new programme to boost physical activity.

The move came after Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, signed up to deliver ‘Care about Physical Activity (CAPA)’ – a new programme set up by the Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate to increase levels of physical activity in care homes across Scotland.

Around £1m is being invested across Scotland to provide training and support to local care home staff. This will be delivered by a new team of physical activity improvement advisers who will work with care home staff to highlight the benefits of being more active and demonstrate how to build more physical activities into the day-to-day lives of local residents.

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 their physical and mental health.

The Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership plans to roll out the scheme around 18 care homes across the area as well as a number of sheltered housing complexes and intermediate facilities which provide short-term care and assessment for older people.

Shiona Strachan, Chief Officer for the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, said “The Partnership is keen to support this new initiative as it has the potential to improve the health, fitness and quality of life of thousands of older people living in care homes across Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

“It will also support the work already underway to reduce the number of falls and fractures in care homes and equip local staff with the skills and resources to help older people become more active.”

Paul Edie, the Chair of the Care Inspectorate added: “Encouraging and supporting people who use care services to remain active or become more active is one of the ways we can all ensure that standards of care across Scotland continue to improve.”

The new CAPA 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. It will be rolled out in a number of areas across Scotland, including Clackmannanshire and Stirling, over the next 18 months.