Walking for Health in West Dorset
The Patient Participation Group (PPG) at the Tollerford Practice, launched this Walking for Health scheme for the Practice’s patients in 2017 in response to a request from Dr Tingay, lead clinician at the Practice. He wanted to have the option to ‘prescribe’ walking to patients who would benefit from the exercise. One member of the PPG, Barbara Evans, volunteered to investigate the options and following discussions it was decided to join up with a national scheme operated by Ramblers Walking for Health. 10 volunteer walk leaders were recruited from the local population.
The aim of the Tollerford Walking Group is to help patients and local residents enjoy a more active lifestyle with a social 10 to 55 minute walk followed by a chat over refreshments at the surgery or local café afterwards. Our specially trained volunteers lead the walks and are on hand to provide support and encouragement. There are now weekly walks in both Maiden Newton and Beaminster.
The NHS says of Walking for Health: ‘Walking is underrated as a form of exercise, walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active. Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers’.
We hope that more and more people in West Dorset will come to enjoy the health benefits of regular walks as the scheme develops and we look forward to meeting any local residents who would like to join in.
Please contact Barbara Evans, or Tel: 01300 320875
To visit the Walking for Health website, click here.
To check dates and times on the walks calendar click here.
Chair Based Exercises at Maiden Newton
Teresa Charles, the adult care co-ordinator at the Tollerford Practice, asked the PPG if they could find someone to deliver chair based exercises at Maiden Newton. In the past classes had been delivered in the Community Room at Webber’s Piece (Magna Sheltered Housing) but the individual had retired. One member of the PPG, Julian English, volunteered to investigate the options and eventually found someone who had qualifications from Later Life Training to deliver Otago exercises.
Falls in older people are a well-documented risk. Around 30% of adults over 65 living at home will experience one fall a year – rising to 50% of adults over 80 living in their home or in residential care. Those who have a fall often descend into a spiral of ill-health, losing confidence to get about, becoming increasingly isolated and losing their independence earlier than would otherwise be the case.
The Otago programme has been clinically trialled at Otago University Medical School, New Zealand. It has been demonstrated that the number of falls can be reduced by up to 40% and of those that do still fall, the likelihood of injuries can be reduced by a third. Participants notice a rapid improvement in their confidence, balance and stability.
Free taster sessions for the exercise classes were held in 2018, funded by the PPG and will be repeated in 2019. There has been good take up of the classes with 12 regular participants, close to maximum capacity.
To find out more you can email the trainer, Sally Cunningham or phone 01300 341092.