Background As part of our aim to support our wider community and help people live independent and healthier lives, we worked with a local GP surgery to provide a Living Well Programme for identified patients with long term health conditions.
Improve overall health, wellbeing and independence;
Help participants’ flexibility and muscle strength;
Increase access to supportive advice and information;
Provide social opportunities.
Method The Living Well Programme comprises 13 sessions. During Session One we complete baseline physical assessments: balance test, gait speed, sit to stand and grip strength. These were repeated at the end of the programme.
All other sessions began with a 45 minute seated exercise class, followed by a short break to socialise, then 45 minutes from a speaker. Speakers covered a variety of topics including assistive technology, dementia awareness, personal safety, nutrition, benefits advice and advance care planning. Client feedback was sought at regular intervals throughout the programme.
Physical assessments increased on average by 1.83 points;
Grip test scores increased on average by 2.85 kg (left hand) and 2.4 kg (right hand);
Participants reported new friendships made and told us that they ‘learnt something new’ during the course.
Client feedback ‘I had knee surgery 18 months ago and it’s not been right, but it’s feeling stronger. I’m doing exercises at home too’.
‘You have a good chat with the friends that you’ve made. I really look forward to coming’.
‘It’s been interesting. I enjoyed the talk on being prepared for when you ‘fall off the twig’ - putting everything in order for those left behind’.
Conclusion Our assessments and client feedback demonstrate that wellbeing programmes improve the health, wellbeing and social connectedness of participants. The course has been replicated at several locations within our locality with similar results.
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