The Kingston and Richmond Falls Prevention Programme is a successful partnership project which helps elderly residents maintain their independence after a fall. The project is now extending further with Kingston Hospital, Holmwood Corner GP Surgery and Willow Grange Care Home in Kingston, working together to match trained volunteers with people who need support to get stronger after a hospital stay.
Kingston GP, Dr Nick Merrifield, explained: “This project aims to help patients who may have deconditioned after a stay in hospital, or who have had a fall, to get stronger and feel better.
“A person’s mobility, balance, strength and endurance are all improved by this programme, but working in this way also helps with the social isolation some patients may face and improves the quality of their lives. I would say that anyone considering this opportunity should get in touch to find out more, they will be fully supported, and I am sure will gain as much from the opportunity as those they are working with.”
I would say that anyone considering this opportunity should get in touch to find out more, they will be fully supported, and I am sure will gain as much from the opportunity as those they are working with.”Dr Nick Merrifield, Kingston GP,
Through this initiative, volunteers can spend up to eight weeks supporting patients at home or in their care home by helping them to complete their exercises safely. With many of these people living alone, the patients have spoken positively about the social and emotional benefits of having regular contact with someone, as well as benefiting from the practical support.
Volunteers will need to give up to three hours per week to help an older person and will be trained to deliver strength, balance and flexibility exercises in a physiotherapy-led programme. Applications are welcome until the end of October 2023, with training starting later this year.Apply to be a volunteer