Why be active?
“Physical activity is the single most useful thing that individuals can do to maintain their health and function and quality of life” (World Health Organisation, 1997) It is a proven fact that physical activity and exercise are good for you and more so for older people in a care setting. It helps maintain and improve quality of life and assist in their independence. People who are active have a lower risk of stroke, cardio vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia. Exercise can help relieve aches and pains, osteoporosis, increase mobility and loss of muscle strength which decreases incidents of falls and breaking hips which are common with the elderly. Studies also show that exercise for people with dementia reduces confusion and agitation as well as a decrease in the need for medication. Exercises are aimed at improving and maintaining a person’s ability to carry out their activities of daily living and focus on areas such as mobility, balance, strength and endurance and aerobic fitness i.e. slightly improving their ability to sustain an activity such as walking.Exercise is beneficial in promoting mental health and well being in many ways such as improved self-esteem, reduced anxiety and stress and improved overall well-being. An exercise plan for a person with limited mobility can help build their strength and flexibility and may bring many benefits such as increased joint mobility, improved balance, risk and prevention of falls, an increase in reaction and improved maintenance and abilities of carrying out activities of daily living. Exercise can also help control and manage conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and cholesterol levels, arthritis, osteoporosis and cancers. Exercise is also good for the immune system to help fight infection and viruses. Also exercise as a group activity is good for an individual as a social aspect as they get to meet and interact with other people. Developing and facilitating an exercise programme
In my role as a Healthcare Assistant, many factors have to be taken into account when planning an activity or an exercise programme. On a one to one basis you would refer to their P.E.P. (personal exercise plan) which would have been devised by the Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist initially on assessment. I will look at this from a group perspective and hopefully show how to plan and facilitate a group session. You should never assume that planning an activity session will suit all clients. It is beneficial to know of their care plans and to ask them plenty questions of their past interests and likes/dislikes and if it exercise related to refer to their care plans for their health status and suitability in relation to their capabilities, impairments, are there risk factors involved and are there special aids, equipment, materials or requirements needed. It is also important to do a risk assessment on the room or area where the session will take place to make sure of a safe environment i.e. enough space, clutter free, make sure windows areaccessible in case it’s too hot or cold. Before starting a group session it is important to get the consent of those taking part before assisting them to the room or area that it is taking place in. it is important to make sure they are feeling well enough to take part and that they are wearing suitable and comfortable clothing and bring any personal aids necessary. On starting one should inform the group of what the session will entail and how long it will last and ask them to stop the session at any time if they are feeling uncomfortable or sensing any pain. Also inform those who are assisting to run the session to observe for any potential risk factors such as sweating, breathlessness, pain and even facial expressions. It is important to make the session entertaining as possible, to encourage participation and get them to engage in interaction with other...
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