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Liverpool PCT looks to younger generation to help promote its Active Ageing Service

Liverpool Primary Care Trust : 27 November, 2007  (New Product)
Liverpool PCT’s Active Ageing Service has organised a special competition to celebrate and commemorate National Grandaparents Day.
Diane Brennan, lead nurse for older people at Liverpool PCT explained: “The aim of the competition was to get young people talking and working with older people, in this case their grandparents. We felt it was a good opportunity to help children and young people think more positively about older people.”

Pupils at schools in south Liverpool were invited to work with their grandparent or another older person to create something which celebrated and demonstrated their lives. They could use any medium they liked and entries included essays, poems, pictures, scrapbooks, stories and memories.

The competition also helped to promote the Active Ageing Service, which is a nurse-led scheme that aims to improve the health and well-being of older people through exercise and interactive activities, as leaflets were given to the children taking part to take home to their grandparents. It was judged by older people who use the Active Ageing Service or who attend activities at the Sunflower Centre in Woolton.

The prize for first, second and third prize was an I-Pod Shuffle and the winning school also collected a jumbo sports pack worth £200.

The Active Ageing Service runs a specialised gym for people aged over 50, which is made up of ‘Easy Line’ equipment. The equipment is non-computerised, which is less threatening to older people and is also easier on their joints because there are no weights. There are eight pieces of equipment in total such as shoulder presses, which are all designed to mimic actions from everyday living to help fitness, coordination, and balance in older people.

As well as the gym, the centre runs informal and non-pressurised exercise classes, which are designed to be as fun as possible for the participants. Qualified instructors conduct all classes and gym sessions and participants are monitored closely to ensure they are using the equipment correctly.

Anyone who is interested in joining the gym will be greeted on their first visit and receive a one-to-one session where they will be asked about their health history and then shown how to use the equipment safely. They will also be given a letter to take to their GP and will be monitored over six weeks for their own safety.

Gym membership costs £15 per month or £2 a session, and a chair based exercise class is held every Friday between 1.30pm and 2.30pm and costs £2.

As well as these sessions, the centre also provides other activities such as Tai Chi, yoga, line dancing, ball room dancing and even pottery classes.
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