Rob Martin, Managing Director of Care Services, Anchor
At Anchor, helping people enjoy later life is our passion. For nearly 60 years we have been providing a range of housing and care options, activities and services that support people and enable them to continue to live fulfilling lives. As England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing, we believe vital component to achieving this, is maintaining ones physical and mental wellbeing.
In an ageing society, our housing, care and support is needed more than ever. Recent ONS statistics show that over 11 million people – 18.6% of our population – are aged 65 and over therefore the importance of staying physically fit and healthy in later life can’t be understated. It contributes meaningfully to positive wellbeing, something that we champion through our numerous wellbeing initiatives and programmes.
One recent example includes our Move Into March initiative, which launched this Spring, to encourage residents, colleagues, as well as the nation, to get more active.
During lockdown, many people were walking more for both their physical and mental wellbeing. Since then, the busy schedule of everyday life has come back with full force. That’s why as part of Move Into March, we have been encouraging residents and colleagues to track the time they spend being active, to meet NHS guidelines, which suggest older adults should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity weekly.
Residents and colleagues alike have been doing sponsored runs, logging time doing dance classes or have got involved by simply tracking their daily walks around their homes or out and about visiting local landmarks. It’s been a great way for people to improve their general wellbeing and share their fun experiences on social media.
Move Into March is just one of many wellbeing initiatives that take place at Anchor. Across all our care and housing locations there are a variety of activities taking place, ensuring that there is something for all residents to get involved in.
Another of which is Zest, Anchor’s accessible and fun physical activity programme. It’s available for care home residents to access online with a new live exercise session taking place every week. The programme is designed to be suitable for all needs and abilities and features a mix of dance-based active routines, dance moves, mobility work, and gentle moving and stretching abilities. The benefits of dance extend far beyond meeting movement targets – it provides joy and often brings back fond memories, greatly contributing to both physical and mental wellbeing. The programme goes a long way to help residents achieve their recommended target of physical activity.
For those that can’t make Zest sessions or want a different form of exercise at any time of day, Be Active offers a range of online resources including exercise routine videos, podcasts and tips on how to keep the mind and body active. This includes the 10 Today series, a programme made up of 10-minute audio workouts hosted by Anchor resident and qualified fitness instructor, Terry Keen. These inclusive programmes provide resources and opportunities for everyone to stay active and live healthy lifestyles, no matter their age and ability.
As an organisation we’re committed to encouraging people to have fun and take part in movement all year round. There are plenty of ways for people to get moving in whatever way works for them. I’m planning to do be to be out running with my Border Collie this Spring to make sure I hit the NHS guidelines on staying fit, I typically look for a challenge to work towards in the summer months. How will you get moving more?