A home care service provider is helping older people to stay active and independent during the coronavirus lockdown. Customers of Belong at Home, the home care provision from dementia specialists, Belong, are now enjoying support to help maintain mobility, following the launch of bespoke exercise plans and free resistance training bands.

Designed by Belong’s lead fitness instructor, Anthony Harley, the daily training programme is tailored to enable older people to maintain vital strength and mobility, and has been provided to all Belong at Home customers to follow in their own home. The not-for-profit care provider has also issued customers with elastic exercise training bands to help with arm strengthening exercises.

Belong at Home operations manager, Jo Ball, said: “Normally, our home care customers could visit their local Belong village to use specialist on-site gym facilities or go out to other social activities, which help keep older people active, such as bowls or tea dances. With many of our customers in the most vulnerable group asked to shield by the Government, we realised we needed to look at alternative ways to support their physical and mental wellbeing during lockdown and expand our service beyond the essentials of daily living support.”

Anthony Harley explains: “Isolation brings a real risk that older people’s muscle strength, balance and stamina is lost, as they spend more sedentary time indoors. These simple exercise plans are designed to help them follow short, targeted exercise routines, little and often, which will make all the difference to their continued independence once we emerge from lockdown.”

The training plans consist of a variety of routines, devised specifically to help older people continue exercising while isolating at home, through a series of standing, sitting and even bed-based routines.  Activities are targeted to specific muscles, such as arms, hands, legs and hips, aiding recovery from operations and reducing stiffness and pain. Building strength, balance and coordination, they also improve both physical and emotional wellbeing as well as help reduce the risk of falls at this critical time.

Jo adds: “Our customers are now enjoying the benefit of their own training plans from the comfort of their own homes. As the Belong at Home service is open to all residents in the wider community, we look forward to supporting new customers, particularly those who are looking for extra support whilst living in their own homes, and perhaps are feeling isolated or unfit due to the ongoing lockdown.”

The move follows the recent launch of the ‘Belong Active’ YouTube channel, which is accessible to all older people in the community and enables anyone with internet access to join in daily exercise routines, Joe Wicks-style!