The Love to Move programme is an age and dementia friendly seated gymnastics programme.
Love to Move was created by theBritish Gymnastics Foundation, after two years of research with experts in Japan who deliver their own seated gymnastics sessions which concluded that benefits included:
The Love to Move programme has since been delivered in multiple care homes and community settings in the UK. We, at Home Instead Tavistock and Tamar, decided that after seeing the life-changing benefits for participants in other areas of the UK, this was something we really wanted to bring to our local community. Our wonderful Care Professional, Poppy, signed up to train to become a Love to Move coach, and now runs the Tavistock sessions every Wednesday.
Poppy explained that “I was motivated to start this as I thought it was such a great thing to bring to my clients, and to widen my care experience. I love the idea of giving people living with dementia, and anyone who would just like to move more, an opportunity and a chance to regain their independence.”
A lot of the exercises centre coordination. One of the more straight forward exercises is finger and thumb tapping. This involves a sequence of tapping your thumb to each finger in the order of index to little finger. This exercise is a great technique to improve finger dexterity and hand coordination. To make it more challenging, the sequences can be changed.
Doug, a participant says “I feel stronger. I have difficulty moving, but I’ve started to move more than I was before.”
A lot of the exercises involve bilateral asymmetry movement patterns (where the left side of your body and right side are doing different actions). Enabling the right and left sides of the brain to process information independently has been proven to be uniquely effective in improving cognitive function and independent living.
Research conducted by Age UK, June 2016 found that “The Programme has a demonstrable benefit in the physical, emotional and cognitive aspects of older people and those older people having mild to advanced forms of dementia appear to benefit the most.”
If you or a loved one might be interested, just pop along to one of the sessions. It’s a loving and welcoming atmosphere which is supportive for all ranges of abilities. If you want to find out more feel free to get in touch with Home Instead through [email protected] and if you are already a Care Professional, this is a brilliant way to expand your experience and skills base.