Physio staff in the West Midlands have marked national Dementia Action Week with an awareness-raising open day, including sessions on exercise, falls prevention, Nordic Walking and adapted Tai Chi.
The physiotherapy team at the open day (left to right): physiotherapy assistants Ian Reid and Sheila Ram, specialist physiotherapist Rani George and lead physio Bal Matharu
The event took place at Edward Street Hospital, part of Black Country Partnership NHS Trust, in West Bromwich on 23 May.
Bal Matharu is team lead physiotherapist at the older adult mental health hospital. She said the team used the open day for activity sessions and to speak with patients, carers and the public about their services for people with dementia.
‘It was a great opportunity to showcase the work we do with our client group, which is patients with acute deterioration of their dementia symptoms.
‘We sent invites out to the local public, GPs, community services and commissioners and our team highlighted the good work physiotherapy provides as part of the wider multidisciplinary team in older adult mental health.
‘There were taster sessions of adapted Tai Chi, Nordic Walking and paraffin wax therapy for arthritic hands. And we received lots of positive comments.
‘Some carers stated the information, about our range of activities and exercises to keep fit and active, was very inspiring.’
Maintaining mobility and preventing falls
Rani George, a specialist physiotherapist on the team, said: ‘Our service plays an essential part in promoting and maintaining mobility, and minimising risk of falls for people with dementia.
‘Patients get a lot of enjoyment out of the activities we offer. They feel the physical and psychological benefits of it and we constantly adapt and modify the exercises to suit their individual needs.’
In line with NICE standards
The hospital’s physiotherapy service is part of a multidisciplinary team that aims to deliver high quality, effective care in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s quality standards for dementia.
This includes providing individually-tailored assessments and activity restrictions for people with dementia, as well as implementing personalised care plans.
‘These people are often in hospital for a long time and we help them maintain good independence with a range of both indoor and outdoor exercise groups,’ said Mrs Matharu.
‘Just before discharge, they are often referred to our colleagues in community-based services where they can continue their proactive health management.’
Commenting on the team’s services, one user said: ‘Extremely helpful. My legs are a lot better. I can walk better. The help was thoughtful and nothing was too much. Excellent Tai Chi, relaxing and helped with my balance and recovery of walking.’
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