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 Exercise class for those with dementia proves “huge success”

Exercise class for those with dementia proves “huge success”

By 19th March, 2024 News & Articles No Comments

THE FIRST open Love to Move exercise class for those living with dementia in Barnsley was a “huge success”, according to organisers.

Dozens of care home residents, community members, healthcare professionals and churchgoers turned up for the free session, which took place at Staincross Methodist Church.

Love to Move, a British Gymnastics Foundation programme run in Barnsley by the Barnsley Primary Care Network, is designed to get older people moving and functioning better.

It also aims to improve the lives of those living with dementia through social interaction, memory stimulation, and the use of foundation gymnastic skills to develop coordination, balance, core strength, and flexibility.

The open session in Barnsley was also an opportunity for participants to socialise, make new friends, and speak to specialists about available support in the town.

It was run in partnership with Deangate Care Home and Rev Claire Rawlinson, from Barnsley Methodist Circuit.

Janice Starkey, social prescriber for Barnsley Primary Care Network and Love to Move facilitator, opened the session with a round of introductions.

She then led the group through a series of exercises tailored to their abilities, including coordination-focused movements and dance routines.

A coffee, tea and cake break midway gave everyone a chance to catch their breath and chat.

Residents at Deangate Care Home have been benefitting from the Love to Move programme since the start of 2023.

Joan Giggal, 90, said: “It was lovely to meet new people and they can see what we have been doing in our home.”

Fellow resident Frances Smith, 88, added: “I can’t wait for the next one. I love the exercise that we do to the music. It’s so much fun. I even got a coffee and a bit of cake.”

Ann Organ, 88, who lives near the church, said: “It was the first dementia session I have been to, as there are no local sessions to me. I can’t wait for the next one.”

Ann’s daughter, Julie Rowland, added: “We saw the article about the Love to Move session in the local newspaper. I showed it mum and asked her if she wanted to go and she said yes. We have really enjoyed it. It was great fun.”

Rachael Addy, activities coordinator at Deangate Care Home, was one of the organisers and will now be training as a Love to Move facilitator, funded by the Hill Care Group, which operates the care home.

She said: “The session was amazing. A huge success. Janice Starkey, our current Love to Move deliverer, was spectacular. She didn’t miss a single beat throughout the session.

“I’m happy to say that I will be training as a Love to Move deliverer, which should enable us to do more sessions in the community and around our sister homes, showing them the benefits for their residents and the outside community.

“I’d like to add a massive thank you to Reverend Clair Rawlinson, who came down to show support and take part, and the Methodist Church for letting us use their hall.”

Love to Move dementia friendly exercises sessions will be taking place on the last Wednesday of the month going forward, with the next session on 27th March 2024.

Anyone with dementia and their carers are welcome to attend the sessions, which take place from 2-4pm, at Staincross Methodist Church Hall, Mapplewell, Barnsley.

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