Health scheme inspires healthy ageing
Published on 02 October 2012 12:00 PM
An award-winning health scheme, which aims to help older people be more active, is going to be examined by the Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA).
The ExtraCare Charitable Trust scheme is the first programme of its kind in this country - primarily aimed at improving the quality of life for older people living in smaller housing developments and retirement villages.
The scheme is run by a team of qualified nurses, who are called Well-being Advisors. It improves access to health screenings and offers referrals to GPs and other health professionals where required.
Among the main positives for the residents is an increase in their level of independence. The programme provides opportunities for active engagement and volunteering as well as involvement in community activities.
Those residents with memory or concentration problems have been helped by the range of activities available. Various interest groups have been created including choir singing, relays on running machines and dog training classes.
Support for the programme has been provided by resident volunteers, who have helped to take measurements of height and weight as well as blood pressure readings.
Currently the scheme assists hundreds of residents in the North and in the Midlands but is hoped that by examining the benefits of the ExtraCare Charitable Trust scheme, Aston University will be able to ascertain what has been so successful about its approach to promoting healthier lifestyles - and inspire more schemes in the UK.
Dr Carol Holland, a Senior Lecturer at ARCHA, believes that prevention forms a vital component of a person's quality of life and general well-being.
She commented: 'In these financially constrained times there are real concerns that preventative measures to help people stay healthy will be seen as a low priority.'
The collaboration between the Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing and the ExtraCare Charitable Trust will take the form of a long-term, three-year project.
Copyright Press Association 2012