By Rebecca Shahoud
MORE elderly people in Scotland will benefit from increased funding to a programme that has already transformed the lives of many people living in care.
Minister for Public Health Joe Fitzpatrick announced that £730,000 would be invested into the Care About Physical Activity (CAPA) programme, which was developed to increase the levels of physical activity to those in care. The programme was trialled in eight areas in Scotland and the new funding will enable it to be rolled out in the rest of the country over the next 18 months.
Speaking at the CAPA conference in Perth this morning, SNP minister Mr Fitzpatrick said: “We know how much physical activity promotes wellbeing, and certain groups face additional barriers in terms of getting active.
“We developed this approach because we wanted to embed the ethos of physical activity as a core aspect of patient-centred care.
“For those in care that have already been a part of CAPA, it has transformed their lives. We have older people moving out of care homes and into sheltered housing, walking without a zimmer and starting a workout at the age of 100.”
The CAPA programme is funded by the Active Scotland and is for older people who live in care homes, sheltered housing or accessing care at home. Working alongside carers, the programme alleviates the problems associated with inactivity and increases wellbeing, physical health and mobility.
The interim Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate Gordon Weir said he was delighted to reach the next stage of the CAPA programme to support more people in care.
He said: “Small changes help older people to keep active in ways that will suit them, and that makes a huge difference to their quality of life. This will support health and social care across Scotland to further develop their skills and confidence to enable older people to move more and live well.
He added that the programme had already worked with 140 care services in Scotland to support “thousands of older people” in care to do activities that they really enjoy.
Linda Martin from Troon was “bed bound” before carers helped her to live independently. She was suffering from muscular atrophy with “no will to live”. She said she “didn’t want to spend the next 20 years in bed”. She now enjoys going out and says she “looks forward to life”, following the implentation of the CAPA programme.
Christine, who lives in Hallhouse Care Home, suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy; a rare disease of the brain that affects movement, speech and behaviour.
The CAPA programme has helped her to pick things up and keep her on her feet. Her daughter says her mother, who used to be very active, “feels empowered” by the assistance given by carers at Hallhouse.