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Active Residents in Care Homes Programme

Active ResidentsThe Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, in partnership with the Integrated Falls Team, St George’s NHS Trust, has received funding from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists Charitable Trust to implement and evaluate the Active Residents in Care Homes programme (ARCH) in three residential care homes in South London.

ARCH is a person-centred programme that creates opportunities for increasing meaningful physical, mental and social activities for elderly care home residents, including those with a range of physical and cognitive impairments. It takes a holistic approach, addressing environmental and organisational barriers to meaningful activity and devising individualised activity plans for elderly residents. Staff are trained to support residents with their activity plans and to integrate the programme into the wider activities of the care home. Dedicated therapists work in each home for up to 12 months to initiate and embed the programme and then hand it over to staff to continue.

The evaluation of the programme, led by Professor Michael Hurley, will assess whether it leads to any improvements in activity, health and wellbeing for elderly residents using a variety of outcome measures.  It will also explore what residents, staff and resident’s family members think about the programme, as well as analysing the cost-effectiveness of the programme.

The programme was previously delivered in day centres where it proved popular and led to improvements in the users’ level of physical activity and general wellbeing, as well as increasing staff job satisfaction and motivation. It is anticipated that the programme will offer similar benefits in residential care homes: improving the care and wellbeing of residents and equipping staff with the confidence and skills to provide care that optimises resident’s wellbeing and dignity.

To find out more about this work contact Sian Koskela atsian.koskela@sgul.kingston.ac.uk