ENRICHEnabling Research in Care Homes
How can Care Homes support Residents to Sit Less and Move More?
Dr Catherine Pemble is a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. She has a background in psychology, sociology, and disability studies and experience in supporting vulnerable adults. Her current research involves exploring the different ways in which older people with and without dementia can be supported to nurture their relationships, follow in their interests, and maintain their health throughout their lives. She can be found on twitter at @catherine.pemble. Dr Grant Gibson is a Lecturer in Dementia Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. Grant is a Social Gerontologist, who’s research interests focus on the use of non-pharmacological and social interventions within dementia care within community and residential environments. Grant’s research also focuses on the use of co-production and participatory research methods within dementia research. Grant can be found on twitter at @DrGrantGibson
In this blog we introduce the ‘Sit Less Move More’ study; a research project exploring how cultures of increased physical activity can be fostered within care homes. We provide information about a questionnaire survey we are distributing across the UK, and invite any staff working within the care home sector to take part in our study
Many of us struggle to exercise as much as we should. Oh, we often intend to exercise, we might make plans, sign up for classes, or buy new things in the hope that this year, this class, this t-shirt, will make the difference… but once February rolls around and the shine of our New Year’s Resolutions wear off, so can our enthusiasm. Especially during COVID.
The same is true for many of us who find ourselves glued to our desks for work. We should stand up and stretch, we should take a break. But we don’t. We get distracted, we forget, or there’s just never a convenient moment to break out of our habit of sitting.
So, if we look at it from that perspective, it’s not hard to see how nursing home residents might become less and less active as they age. It might be that moving is getting harder, or that it feels riskier than it used to. They might worry about falling, or simply not see a need to move from a comfortable spot.
But they should. We know that they should. We know that being sedentary, or not moving very much, is likely to lead to poorer health and worse outcomes over time. We know that moving- even if it is just to take a walk into another room to fetch a snack, or a newspaper, can help people stay well for longer.
So how can we help? The short answer is… we don’t know. Not yet.
The Sit Less, Move More Project
This project has been designed to capture a glimpse into how residents are currently supported in Care Homes, before we start to design resources and suggest strategies for how residents might be supported better in the future.
As a result, the Sit Less Move More Project is currently looking for people who are working in care homes to take this short survey so we can get an honest insight into how residents are currently supported to move more on a day-to-day basis.
We want to know what people are doing, what has worked in the past, and what challenges are making things difficult, and what they need in order to overcome them.
We’d like to hear from anyone who works or volunteers in a Care Home in the UK, as well as from people who work with care homes to provide services and activities to residents. It doesn’t matter how long the person has worked or volunteered in Care Homes either- because we need to know what makes things easier (and harder) for both new and established staff across the home.
What happens after the survey?
The survey is the first stage in our research process. It will help us identify common problems, and highlight potential strategies or ideas that could really help staff and volunteers to support older residents in Care Homes to Sit Less and Move More on a daily basis.
Our next stage will involve interviewing staff working in different Care Homes in the UK to hear about their experiences in more depth. These interviews will probably take place remotely, either online or over the telephone, and last approximately an hour.
The insights that we gather from these interviews will then work alongside the survey to help us develop new resources and identify new strategies that could give practical help to staff and volunteers working in Care Homes in the UK.
Can You Help?
We would like to hear from as many people across the UK as possible. If you would like to help us understand how Care Homes in the UK can support older residents to Sit Less and Move More, please consider taking our survey, and sharing our link and posters so everyone can have a chance to have their say!
Take our Survey at: https://tinyurl.com/SLMMSurvey