Older people in Northallerton are getting fit and making new friends, thanks to a new health and exercise group ran by physiotherapists from the Trust.
The weekly exercise and health promotion group, held at Age UK in Northallerton is empowering older people under the care of the community mental health team in Hambleton and Richmondshire to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing.
As part of the patients’ journey of recovery from complex and functional mental health problems, the group encourages people to get connected through exercise and helps address loneliness, particularly in rural communities.
It is also providing a solution to the problem of people with mental health conditions being at increased risk of premature morbidity due to preventable physical health problems.
The 12 week course delivers person-centred care through a combination of exercises and discussion on a range of health topics. These include healthy eating, sleep, continence problems, alcohol, managing chronic pain, falls prevention, dental and denture care, foot care and smoking cessation.
The two-hour sessions take a holistic approach to mental health care helping to improve patient safety and wellbeing as well as encouraging improvements in overall fitness.
The group concludes with a relaxation session and music is also provided to exercise and relax to.
Maria Ineson, a physiotherapist involved in delivering the groups, said: “The group aims to engage and empower patients to better manage their mental and physical health needs and to improve their overall wellbeing.
“Those who took part have reported positive outcomes including improvements in their cardiovascular fitness, balance, strength, gait and coordination. They have also said it has given them confidence, has helped them socially and has motivated them.
“The majority of those who’ve attended the group have indicated that they wish to continue exercising and feel that the group has helped them to achieve their goals.”
The latest group started this month and the team are looking to set up an additional group in the Richmond area in the near future.