Blairgowrie residents and friends celebrate being active and social with walk, exercises and picnic
A Perth care home became a hive of activity last week when it hosted a Big Fit Walk and Great Get Together.
Beech Manor in Blairgowrie welcomed friends, family and guests on Friday when Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All hosted a 30-minute walk around the grounds as part of its annual Big Fit Walk campaign.
After the walk, residents, their families, staff and invited guests took part in strength and balance exercises and enjoyed a picnic thanks to funding from the Great Get Together initiative.
Beech Manor is one of 10 care homes in Perth and Kinross that Paths for All is working closely with as part of its Care about Walking programme.
Funded by Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity Fund, the programme aims to embed a culture of walking and indoor and outdoor activity into care homes across the country.
Kayleigh Lytham from Paths for All said: “Walking and other physical activities, within a care setting, is incredibly important to maintain an individual’s independence, mobility and confidence.
“Reducing time spent sitting or lying down is key to maintaining better physical, mental and social health and can have long term benefits overall. The Perth and Kinross Care about Walking project is working in partnership with care homes over two years to develop a person-centred approach to increase physical activity levels among individuals based around walking and strength and balance exercises both indoors and outdoors.
“Innovation and creativity are essential to ensure developments are tailored to each care home’s needs. The Big Fit Walk and Great Get Together are brilliant examples of events which promote the benefits of physical activity while being fun, interactive and social. It’s great to see so many smiley faces and people enjoying themselves.”
Carolyn Wilson from Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, which is working with Paths for All on the project said: “Care homes across Perth and Kinross are benefiting tremendously from the support Paths for All are providing in testing new ideas and creating suitable resources to encourage residents to walk more.
“Today’s event is showcasing some new resources to improve strength and balance and provide opportunities for residents to increase their walking and improve their health and wellbeing.”
Beech Manor Care Home, which is managed by Renaissance Care, also welcomed pupils from St Stephen’s Primary School at Friday’s fun event. The children were joined by other invited guests including local councillor Caroline Shiers who joined care home residents in a walk and strength and balance session.
Councillor Shiers said: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Great Get Together at Beech Manor Care Home. The pupils from St Stephens Primary, who were in great spirits and clearly enjoy spending time with the residents. The intergenerational work benefits the children and clearly brings great pleasure to the residents and their families. The Changing Lives fund and Care about Walking projects are fantastic and I look forward to visiting some of the other care homes they operate in across Perth and Kinross.”
Madeana Laing, manager of Beech Manor Care Home said: “We work closely with every one of our residents to ensure they are happy and healthy, both physically and mentally, and research shows that regular and varied exercise promotes this.
“Our residents have shown great determination with the exercise programme over the past few weeks, and it is fantastic to see them showing friends and family the results of all their hard work.”
For more information on the Care about Walking project, visit www.pathsforall.org.uk.