A SPECIAL exercise programme is transforming the lives of older people in Solihull thanks to a special course run by the local branch of Age UK.
The charity’s ‘postural stability instruction’ initiative (PSI) provides a tailored set of exercises along with telephone support and virtual video instruction to help struggling senior citizens regain their confidence and improve their mobility.
Funded by NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, one local beneficiary has been Shirley Ross who had spent years struggling to walk, with many falls, fractured bones, pain and an overall fear of falling.
She would cling on to furniture and found it hard to carry anything.
Her GP encouraged her to join Age UK Solihull’s PSI programme, and the results have been transformative.
“I have come on in leaps and bounds and my daughters cannot believe the difference you have made,” said Shirley.
“Age UK Solihull gave me confidence that I would get there and now I feel life is worth living, which for a long time, I had not felt.”
Shirley is now looking forward to the classes starting up in person, which is planned for August 2 at the Christian Renewal Centre off Lode Lane.
PSI manager, Angela Liatis, said: “We’ve been pleased to help clients with our virtual classes and phone support and we know it will be even better when our face-to-face classes resume.
“People love coming to meet others, to see the instructors and to make sure they are doing the exercises correctly.
“We’re all really keen to start up again in August.”
The impact of the exercise classes is seen clearly in the outstanding results – the charity has found there is an 87 per cent reduction in future falls for older people completing the 20-week programme.
TO RUN the classes, the charity needs more volunteers to transport the clients.
With the new coronavirus guidelines, volunteers can only take one client in their car, and need to wear masks and have the car windows open.
Volunteer manager, Catherine Gulati, is keen to hear from anyone who is interested in helping out.
“The class takes an hour, during which time the volunteers can sit together inside or outside. Many of our drivers have been helping out for years, and it’s a great, supportive team.”
Anyone interested in volunteering on either Monday or Thursday mornings or Wednesday afternoons should email Catherine at [email protected] or call 07397 718455.