Being physically active can help to maintain independence and improve wellbeing at all stages of dementia. The benefits of physical activity may include:
- keeping your independence
- improved strength and mobility
- helping to keep bones strong
- reducing the risk of falls
- reducing feelings of isolation
- increased confidence
- improved mood and sense of wellbeing
If you have a diagnosis of dementia (in the early-mid stage) you can benefit from the Fitter Futures Physical Activity/ Healthy Lifestyles on Referral Service. The service offers a 12 week programme of physical activity at various leisure centre venues across Warwickshire. You will be supported by a Physical Activity Specialist who will develop a training programme for you and offer support and encouragement to help you become more active. There is a cost to the programme which is discounted where possible. You can come along to sessions by yourself or with a carer. Carers may also be able to participate – please ask the person who refers you for more details.
The benefits of participating in the programme in Warwickshire have been kindly shared with us:
“My Dad was living with Alzheimer’s, however he wasn’t interested in attending any of the Dementia Specific Services available to him. He was starting to disengage with his usual activities and was spending more and more time at home. He had always loved to keep fit, however, he had to stop taking part in his regular circuit class as he was finding it increasingly difficult to follow the class, he had lost a lot of his confidence in terms of communicating with people and was becoming increasingly anxious, especially in new or unfamiliar situations. It was suggested he be referred onto the Fitter Futures Physical Activity on Referral programme.
Dad chose to take part in the programme at Castle Farm Recreation Centre in Kenilworth, as it was a centre he was familiar with and it was close to his home. The Exercise Referral Instructors, who put Dad’s programme together were amazing. It wasn’t always easy to communicate with Dad as he didn’t really speak much. Some people would find this awkward however, the instructors weren’t phased by this. They had a great awareness of Alzheimer’s and took time to understand what this meant for Dad. They treated Dad with respect and put together a gym programme specifically for him, appropriate to his needs and level of fitness. Either myself or my mum were able to go along to the sessions to help him work through the programme, which also helped him feel more comfortable and confident to attend his weekly sessions.
Dad attended the sessions twice a week, he really enjoyed his sessions whilst increasing his physical fitness which meant that he was able to stay mobile for longer and was less at risk of falls as well as other health conditions. I would definitely recommend Fitter Futures for people with dementia, our only regret is that Dad wasn’t referred earlier on, when he was first diagnosed.”
For more information about the Physical Activity/ Healthy Lifestyles on Referral Service please contact Fitter Futures Warwickshire: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01926 351077 or visit the website: www.fitterfutureswarwickshire.co.uk
Please ask your GP practice, pharmacy, healthcare or social care professional to refer you to the service.
For more information about dementia and services and support in Warwickshire, please visit Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/dementia