Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Stay steady and strong for longer

Monday, 23 September 2013

Hampshire County Council and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust's 'Steady and Strong' community exercise classes are spreading across the county.

New classes are starting in New Milton, Hart, Basingstoke and Fareham with classes in Rushmoor and Wickham starting in January. A full list of classes can be found at Better Balance for Life or by contacting Sophie Jevons on 01962 846605.

The classes are designed to improve strength, balance, confidence and coordination for older people using exercises based on everyday activities. Qualified Postural Stability Instructors with experience of working with older people lead the classes and exercises can be done sitting or standing depending upon the person's ability, with the aim of progressing to performing the exercises without support. The classes are held in church halls, community centres, leisure centres and sheltered housing.

Steady & Strong classes are suitable for any older person in Hampshire who has had or who is worried about having a fall, has decreased mobility or has trouble with their balance. People who have completed short courses of exercise with physiotherapy teams following hospital admission can join too to maintain the benefits they gained.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Anna McNair Scott, said: "Exercise is one of the most important factors in preventing a fall and these classes are a great way for older peoplewanting to stay active and independent to meet up and have fun while exercising."

"Having a fall can have a serious impact on anyone's life - but for older people the consequences are even greater, including a loss of independence, mobility and confidence as well as the time it takes to recover. By preventing falls, older people's chances of staying independent at home are significantly increased and they can continue to live an active lifestyle."

Southern Health's Lead Falls Prevention Specialist Sue Morris said: "Preventing falls and fractures for older people is a key priority for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and we are delighted to be working with Hampshire County Council in developing this important work."

The classes last for an hour and are run in a friendly atmosphere and usually close with the opportunity for a chat over a cup of tea. The prices vary from £3 - £3.50 per session.

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