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Ageing Well/Transform Midlothian launch Rio Walking Challenge

Vivian Wallace, Ageing Well Coordinator, Sport and Leisure, Midlothian Council

Ageing Well/Transform have had a busy few months working with the frail elderly in Midlothian encouraging them to be more active in many different ways.

The Ageing Well Coordinator has delivered workshops on the importance and benefits of activity as we get older to staff in six care homes and  launched the Rio Walking Challenge in those care homes too which is a 12 week challenge to encourage both residents and staff to walk more and record the number of steps completed each day. It is approximately 6000 miles from Midlothian to Rio so we are asking residents to walk 6000 steps in the 12 weeks and challenging staff to walk at least 6000 steps each day. Our Senior Games this year will have a carnival atmosphere and part of the walking launch celebration was telling everyone about the games and teaching residents and staff the Rio dance. This will be our warm up dance for everyone on the day. Ten care homes will be taking part on the 5th July and 7 sheltered housing on the 7th July. Volunteers from both Transform and Ageing Well will be ensuring the day is special for everyone involved.

Ageing Well have also set up 3 new groups, 1 new age kurling and 2 seated exercise, in the community to encourage the elderly to be active.  

Transform delivers four Befriending Activity groups within sheltered housing complexes in Midlothian each week.  The activities are of a physical nature with social elements, and are conducted with support from young volunteers assigned to each group. They also completed walk leader training and offered functional fitness tests to residents (in partnership with Ageing Well)    Our young volunteers support the residents to partake in the sessions; sharing experiences, knowledge and working together in a fun intergenerational environment .Three groups run weekly and two on a fortnightly basis.  We encourage resident to be active between group sessions too by leaving games and activities for them to do.

Each group dynamic and mix of abilities is different, we tailor the activities to suit their requirements and feedback, this encourages continuous attendance through being made to feel welcome and team camaraderie.  Feedback is very positive with people noting their enjoyment at the physical activity without it feeling laborious.

More information can be found here.