94-year-old resident becomes UK’s oldest specialist activity adviser
A resident at Fernhill House has become the oldest in the country to attend a specialist activity training programme aimed at helping elderly people remain mobile and healthy.
Ninety-four-year-old Marian Hill used to work for Worcestershire’s education department and moved into Fernhill House a few months ago. A lifelong keep fit enthusiast, Marian was delighted when three staff members taking part in a training course to enable them to run seated physical activity sessions for some of the residents asked if she would attend with them.
Home manager Peta Mandleberg explained: “We and sister homes in our wider group, Majesticare, have become the first in the country to include a resident or volunteer to join the staff in this activity training. It’s all part of our ethos of vibrant living.”
The Revitalyz workshops, written by occupational activity specialists, are specifically designed for care staff and volunteers. Attendees can then deliver regular sessions, encouraging care home residents to become more physically active, maintain mobility and prolong independence.
Marian joined in most of the physical aspect of the training, so has a first-hand perspective on what to expect when the team begins its own programme of physical activities.
“It’s easy to become sedentary as one gets older, so regular sessions, whether one to one or in groups, can make a real difference to a person’s ability to perform everyday activities such as getting dressed, brushing their own hair, lifting a cup, or simply moving about,” added Peta.
The course participants were given tips on using music and considering what might appeal to a wide range of ages and tastes for the warm up and activities – something not always considered when motivating older people.
Marian is looking forward to helping run her first session later this month. “Just because I’m a bit older now doesn’t mean I can’t keep fit and healthy. Now I just need these octogenarian spring chickens to keep up with me!” she said.