HELPING OLDER ADULTS TO KEEP MOVING

As restrictions tighten over winter everyone will be spending more time at home and finding it hard to find the motivation, confidence and knowledge to keep moving and be active.  

Shielding has been reintroduced, it’s far colder and darker than the first lockdown and as some leisure and sport facilities are still closed to the public, staying active and healthy for older adults is particularly tough.   Our research told us that physical activity levels in adults over 55 dropped during first period of the pandemic restrictions.

But being active is so important to a person’s mental and physical health – from boosting the immune system to help fight viruses like the Coronavirus to improving someone’s mood which will help combat loneliness and depression.  There are countless benefits to being active.

Ideas, motivation and resources for keeping active 

We’ve teamed up with the sector and national organisations to provide some advice and guidance as to how older adults can stay active at home – to protect their mental and physical health.

 

Across Wales 

  • Age Cymru recommend that older adults don’t sit still for longer than an hour as this can have a negative impact on someone’s health and have some resources to help guide someone through exercising at home including Low Impact Functional Training and Tai Chi
  • Check out Sport Wales’ gentle exercise videos – showcased by some of Wales’ sporting stars
  • Yoga teacher Laura Karadog runs yoga classes every Tuesday via Meddwl.org. They are Welsh language based, but easy to follow if you're not a Welsh speaker. Work your core muscles and relax your mind with #MawrthMeddwl
  • Elderfit provide online workout classes for over 50s for a monthly subscription
  • The Walking Friends Wales project (by Living Streets) helps to support the over 50s to get outdoors for walks, at their own pace. This includes linking up over 50s with others in their area to meet each other for walks (when it is safe to do so). 
  • Pedal Power helps people of all ages to get on their bikes to exercise through cycling. Note that there is a charge for joining.   
  • Get Out Get Active gets people of disabled and non-disabled people together to take part in and enjoy activity together, when it is safe to do so. 
  • Sporting Memories, a Sport Wales supported project, continue to help the elderly through the pandemic through the power of sport, and offer a range of gentle exercise videos to help with strength and flexibility.
     

Location-specific groups 

  • Camarthenshire - Walking Well Carmarthenshire is a Carmarthenshire 50+ forum project
  • Newport – Newport Outdoor Group brings together people of all ages for walks, when it is safe to. When restrictions allow, the group aim to meet once a week in Summer and once a month in Winter. 
  • South Wales (throughout Wales from 2022) - Reengage offer all sorts of physical activity sessions for those aged 75+(including dancing, boules, Tai Chi, walking or skittles)
     

MORE SUPPORT...

  • If you’re able to leave the house to exercise but lack confidence and worry about social distancing, download your ‘Distance Aware’ badge from Bevan Commission so that you can make others aware that you are vulnerable and to keep their distance easily and discreetly. 
  • Age Cymru are running a campaign called ‘Spread the Warmth’ to ensure older people understand the importance of keeping warm at home during the cold winter months. Advice includes what to wear and keeping your body moving.
  • Those with Parkinson’s Disease are amongst those shielded – Parkinson’s UK charity have plenty of resources on how to keep active at home.