Older residents who have a fear of falling over or have lost confidence in their mobility after a fall are being helped to get back on their feet again through a Cornwall Council-funded online fitness programme.
‘Move More Cornwall’ is a course designed by physiotherapists and health professionals to help reduce falls and is run by community organisation iCareiMove in partnership with Cornwall Council, Age UK Cornwall and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Since the lockdown the programme has been adapted with twice-weekly online classes in strength and balance to encourage older residents and those who may have mobility issues get active again even when they are at home.
The classes are uploaded onto Facebook are suitable for people who may have tripped or fallen in the past. They may use a walking stick or walking aid and may have been in hospital previously and have lost some confidence.
The aim is to help people become stronger and more active to help prevent falls and improve wellbeing in later life.
The classes are uploaded onto Facebook so participants can practise whenever they wish.
The virtual programme has been running since last month and participants have reported wellbeing improvements.
Councillor Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for adults, said: “Many people’s mobility and mental health have suffered since the start of the pandemic and these classes can help older people get moving again and build up their confidence in a safe and gentle way.
“Some of us may have been a lot less active during the lockdown and some of us have been shielding, and when we are getting out and about again after a period of inactivity there is a greater risk of falls, so it is even more important to build up your strength and balance slowly and safely.
“You might have a family member, neighbour or loved one that could really benefit from this programme. It’s a great opportunity for someone to regain their confidence and get mobile again.”
Across the country the number of people classed as ‘inactive’ or doing less than thirty minutes of activity per week saw an unprecedented increase of over 3 million to 11.8 million during lockdown earlier in the year, according to the latest Sport England Active Lives adult survey.
Older people, those from poorer and ethnic minority backgrounds as well as those with health conditions are thought to be among those hardest hit.
People can find out more and sign up by contacting Age UK Cornwall through their helpline on 01872 266388 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org