Age Concern Birmingham is situated in Sutton Coldfield focusing on the elderly and others in need to make a positive difference. Additionally, adding value to people's lives by offering services to promote wellbeing and independence.
What was their programme?
- Provide exercise within the home environment for 16 isolated people who did not have access or capacity to be able to use IT equipment.
- A personalised exercise programme was sent to each client by post over 9 weeks.
- During calls, wellbeing checks were also provided to ensure each client had access to fresh food.
- Clients were encouraged to remain stimulated both mentally and physically. This helped reduce isolation, improve mental and physical wellbeing, and has also given them the opportunity to identify any safeguarding concerns.
How did the organisation use the funding?
- Offered exercise programmes.
- Gave access/use to IT equipment.
- 1-1 conversations to develop the plans and use the plans twice a week.
- Discuss general wellbeing and support and healthy eating/safeguarding.
What was the impact of the funding?
- Reduced isolation
- Reduced family pressures and impacted on a reduction of health / GP services.
- Delayed higher care needs, decreases on emergency services, reduce falls.
- Improved physical and mental wellbeing.
What did the organisation learn?
- Ways to motivate those most vulnerable like telephone support and sending information via the post.
- A flexible supportive approach is best.
- Through the project we also learned to link support for shopping volunteers.
Mr B was identified as vulnerable through the befriending service, he has been diagnosed with depression which had been amplified due to becoming isolated with the restrictions that Covid-19 brought about.
When he was first contacted about the programme, he was a bit reluctant and thought what is the point but agreed to have a look at the exercise plan before taking part. He was provided with a plan tailored to his requests which also included safety advice, a warm up section and a cool down section.
He informed us that he has some dumbbells that he has not used for years and would like to be able to use them again so wanted exercises to improve his arm strength, so his exercise plan was designed with this in mind.
He was contacted twice a week by telephone and went through his exercise plan over the phone. As his mood improved and his physical abilities improved, Mr B started to incorporated weights into his programme and in his words he said "I am actually getting a buzz out of it and I not only physically fitter but I feel like I am in a more happy place now, It's nice to have a conversation as well" Mr B continued to do the exercise 3 times a week on his own outside of our telephone conversations and has now built up the strength and determination to re-join a gym when he feels safe to do so. He has also taken up walking on the days he does not do his exercises.
Due to taking part on the programme, he no longer just looks at the weights in the corner of the room and now has something to focus on. He is now glad that he agreed to take part and will carry on exercising even after the 9 weeks.