In partnership with UHMBT and Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) the Move It or Lose It fitness classes have been developed by experts to help people to improve their flexibility, agility, aerobic health, balance and strength. All the exercises can be done seated or standing, depending on ability.
The RVS run weekly group-based community classes at; Furness General Hospital, Queen Victoria Hospital, Ulverston Community Health Centre, Hindpool Community Centre and Westmorland General Hospital. These classes are open to local people registered to a GP. In addition the service provides one-to-one exercise and mobility support for patients at their bedside.
The programme is led by 71 volunteers across UHMBT and has had more than 1,000 attendees at the Move It or Lose It health centre classes over the last 12 months.
Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive at UHMBT said; “The Move It or Lose It programme is a fantastic course which is delivered for both inpatients and ex-patients. By 2020 UHMBT and RVS have committed to deliver up to 545 hours of volunteer contribution per month – this will make a huge difference to our patients and the local community.
“The exercise classes have both physical and emotional benefits as they help combat muscle waste experienced by older people and provide opportunities for social engagement combating isolation and loneliness. All exercises are to help service users develop essential muscle strength to stay independent with the aim of staying at home as long as possible.”
Karen Rose, RVS, Service Manager delivering the Move it or Lose it classes said “I really enjoy running the chair based exercise classes; they are so beneficial and so much fun. We concentrate on exercises to help participants with activities for daily living to help everyone stay independent as long as possible. We cater for all abilities as all the exercises can be done at an individual’s own pace so no one is left behind – you are never too old or unfit to start exercising so come and join us.”
Sue Smith added; “Over the next two years the programme will increase visiting to four additional wards supported by the recruitment of around 30 further volunteers. Activity will increase to five days a week, including an increase of two chair-based exercise classes per week.
“Volunteers will prioritise patients who are most likely to have a fall. Trust staff will help identify these patients at the point of admission and volunteers will look to work more intensively with these patients onward and at the point of discharge to connect them to community provision.”