Why the latest findings of COVID-19 patients should encourage us to sit less and move more!

Recent studies from both the UK and USA suggest that along with advancing age and underlying health issues, physical inactivity is the strongest risk factor for severe COVID-19 outcomes.

It is well documented that increasing your level of physical fitness can help when combating COVID-19. This is in all age groups and as such promotion surrounding physical and mental wellbeing should be taken very seriously.

So, what does this mean for our ageing population? Those living in care settings or needing care at home?

  • Guidelines suggest that all adults should complete 150 minutes of physical activity a week, and those who struggle with their balance and coordination need to complete 2 sessions of strength and balance exercises a week.
  • It has been found that those who were consistently inactive have had a greater risk of hospitalisation. If somebody is inactive, they are more likely to continue to deteriorate, causing a risk of frailty. Frailty can affect the overall quality of life, independence and not to mention somebody's falls risk.
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed as frail are unlikely to have the resilience to return to their baseline and will become more dependent, no matter what their age!

StopFalls is passionate about keeping people healthy through education and increased movement and exercise. Now as we recover from COVID-19 we need to make sure that this is a priority.

At HCPA we are working hard to educate those who have the responsibility of caring for others about deterioration prevention. Physical activity is proven to help reduce the risk of severe illness and further deterioration.

Being inactive can have a huge effect on cardiovascular health, flexibility, strength, bone density and balance. All these factors can affect somebody's overall health and risk of falls, causing poorer outcomes for the individual.

How can StopFalls help?

  • Let's get people moving, we know that the benefits of getting up on our feet or participating in chair-based activities is more beneficial than staying sedentary.
  • Download the FREE StopFalls app to assist you with moving more in a safe and controlled way. View our chair-based and standing balance exercises and watch the videos for more guidance!
  • Any movement is better than none. If you are an older adult or care for somebody who is older then please consider joining us every Tuesday at 11am for live exercise? Our aim is to get people moving across Hertfordshire and everybody is welcome!
  • Embed strength and balance exercise for those who are mobile and at a high risk of falls, follow the exercises on the HCPA StopFalls app and on our website. Click here to view our exercise videos in chair-based and standing balance.
  • Take a look at our free resources, and have a read or see our Staying healthy at home exercise resource with top tips to help keep you moving to prevent falls and stay healthy.
  • Receive valuable information on falls by following our Facebook page – HCPA StopFalls

Resources at your fingertips

 Staying healthy at home resource

 Join us on Facebook

Don't forget to download the FREE StopFalls App!

100-year-old regains her strength!

100-year-old Veronica Hughes is using Hertfordshire Care Providers Association’s ‘StopFalls’ app with the help of her support worker Laura Brown, who visits her once a week to regain her strength following a stroke last year.

The app features videos of strength and balance exercises which can help prevent falls. This is particularly important in winter when colder temperatures cause a greater risk of tripping on icy pavements.

Veronica said: “I would encourage anyone to use the StopFalls service. The exercises are easy to follow and fun to do.”

Laura has also been posting videos of their exercise sessions on Facebook to help inspire others.

The campaign, which is in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council, aims to prevent falls in both care homes and residential care settings.

Download the StopFalls App!

Keeping out of hospital

One of our gentlemen who joined us in December had previously been in hospital for a second broken hip, he was then relying on two carers plus the use of a rota stand to transfer before he came to our Care Home. He has regularly been taking part in the online exercise classes and as well as moving around the house the classes have really benefited his mobility and he has made major improvements and now transfers independently with no equipment required and walks confidently with a frame.  

What does this mean?

This gentleman has shown that working on improving his activity levels enables him to move better without equipment. This reduces costs of carers by preventing 2:1 care, equipment costs and future hospital admissions by improving independence and well-being. With the home taking a positive attitude to improve independence and enable the resident can preventing future health deterioration.  

Come and exercise with HCPA with our chair-based exercise session. Let’s get moving and get #BackToBetterHealth!

Every Tuesday morning at 11am

*This form only needs to be filled in once, all questions and answers apply each week*

Proud moments: “I did it!”

After an HCPA StopFalls session, we used the technique for moving and handling where we encouraged a lady to wiggle to the edge of her seat and push up through her legs while holding the arms of the chair. She stood up with much more ease than usual and had a huge smile of pride on her face and exclaimed “I DID IT!”. We were so pleased for her and will continue to use this with all our residents from now on.

Many thanks for your advice and guidance‚ it's made a huge difference to this one lady already and will continue to do so for many more at our home!

What does this mean?

Getting somebody standing will almost always outweigh sedentary behaviour. Standing with the correct technique will encourage individuals to use their legs and not just rely on getting up from a chair only using their arms or equipment, as this disables people, rather than enabling them.

Want to learn how to complete a strength exercise such as a sit to stand with the correct technique? Click here

Supporting those at home with the StopFalls app

Several volunteers have supported their clients with the StopFalls exercises, some printed the exercises off and dropped them round to them.

One volunteer does face to face-to-face exercising with their client and downloaded the app onto his phone and they both take part, she asked him this week if he'd been doing the exercises…he said “oh yes!”

 Another volunteer said it really made him think about his client's frailty and how he can support clients in improving their health and well-being.

Reach out Hertfordshire

What does this mean?

Many delegates have demonstrated that they have learnt new knowledge in identifying falls and frailty. The soon that an individual gets identified at risk of falls and frailty the quicker that actions can be put in place to support that person. It is important to understand and feel confident in increasing quality of life in all aspects of health promotion, it shows that we must take prevention seriously rather than only acting once there has been a fall or once a person is unwell. This therefore will prevent further falls and deterioration, increasing the quality of life by improving the confidence that care staff have.  

Download the StopFalls App!

Helped my confidence!

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the training  you are providing. This has helped with my confidence to be able to use the training skills in my daily routine with clients.  

For example, one of my clients relies on her walking frame to get up from her bed or armchair. By showing her how to shuffle forward onto the edge safely and then trying again to stand without pulling herself up using the frame has helped dramatically. She is now also feeling a lot more confident to be able to go the toilet without a carer being present.”

What does this mean? 

Sit to stand is something we all do regularly, somebody who is in pain or not positioned well will struggle to get up from a chair confidently with the correct technique. By this delegate showing her client how to stand properly and decreased levels of pain and increase independence, giving her the confidence to complete her personal care and other activities of daily living. By promoting this level of independence can prevent further support from being needed by care staff. Better health can prevent future illness and hospital admissions, overall affecting the quality of life and levels of dependency.