Do you know what deconditioning is and how to recognise if you, your family, friends, patients, or clients are at risk?
The Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership Ageing Well programme were given funding from NHS England and Improvement to work with partners and our communities to deliver several initiatives to help people recognise deconditioning and how they could prevent it or reverse the effects.
Deconditioning refers to changes that happen to your body as a result of being inactive or can happen after a period of bed rest. The impact of COVID-19, and of living with restrictions resulted in some older people and people with pre-existing conditions (like COPD or diabetes) becoming increasingly inactive. This meant they were likely to experience a loss of ability and confidence, this could have included finding it harder to cook meals and remember things, and they were at a greater risk of falling. It’s important to know these changes can be prevented and are reversible which made the programme even more valuable to those in our communities.
Resource, education and training
Led by Allied Health Professions (AHPs) from across Bradford District and Craven, a Keeping Well at home booklet was adapted from Greater Manchester. A resource that provides tips on keeping active and general wellbeing during the pandemic.
The booklets were printed and delivered by community teams and local voluntary community sector (VCS) organisations. They were also available in multiple languages such as Polish, Punjabi & Urdu. The Ageing Well team worked in partnership with the Race Equality Network (REN) to create videos (again in multiple languages) to share key messages with their network via WhatsApp. Electronic versions are available on the Living Well Bradford website for people to download.
Training sessions were also delivered to community teams and Care Home staff highlighting the impact of deconditioning and the importance of strength and balance exercises to reduce the risks of falls.
Asset Based Community Development Grants
Working in partnership with the VCS Alliance, a total of £65,000 was allocated to community and voluntary groups in the form of small grants ranging from £250-£1,000. Local community groups were asked to utilise the grants to implement initiatives that would encourage people to stay active during the pandemic. As there was still guidance around social distancing, community groups were required to think creatively about how the initiatives could be delivered using technology or outdoor spaces.
A whole range of projects took place which included wellbeing walks, chair yoga, gardening, walking and rugby. There was lots of engagement with these activities and people benefited through improving their physical and mental wellbeing by feeling connected to others.