PROJECT: BEAT DIS
Waltham Forest District Council.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Waltham Forest District Council and Alliston House.
Through the project, we work with Alliston House Care Home in Waltham Forest and provide them with exercise classes, person centred activities and trips to local facilities, such as dance halls. The project focuses on re-engaging with older people and encouraging them to take part in a range of activities that will improve their self-esteem, health, well-being and communication skills. The project also improves social interaction between the participants. Alliston House also encourages neighbouring care homes to take part in the project so that resources can be shared and long term partnerships formed to benefit a higher number of older people.
• The number of people of pensionable age continues and will continue to rise. 11.4 million in 2006; 12.2m in 2011; 13.9m in 2026; 15.3m in 2031.
• People aged 85 and over are the fastest growing age group. This group will nearly quadruple by 2051 to around four million (6% of the UK's population). There are 150,292 older people living in our catchment area.
• Hundreds of thousands of British pensioners in the past year live a bleak life of isolation, according to Help the Aged. The charity said it had evidence that almost 300,000 OAPs can go a full month without speaking to family or neighbours.
• More than 1.25 million older people complained of always feeling lonely.
Our vision is to develop a programme of activities; where the dignity, strength and good humour of older people is celebrated; where a person’s age and/or disability does not present any barriers to participation. We develop and deliver a programme of activities that enhance the well- being and enrich the quality of life for 40 older people at Alliston House making the following impact:
• Alleviate loneliness and social isolation.
• Encourage a sense of sharing and community.
• Provide fun and enjoyment.
• Provide sensory stimulation.
• Facilitate creative activity.
• Encourage physical exercise (exercise is not just good for the body - it is good for the mind.
• Develop innovative ways of communication and create activity.
The project’s keep fit and exercise approach has been of benefit for all those Service Users who continue to participate. Keeping fit, eating well and maintaining a healthy life style is of a tremendous benefit. However, what we have found which is equally, if not more important, is the stimulus and the improvement in the ‘Mental Well-being’ of our Service Users which we have observed.
Andrew Ladds, Alliston House Staff Member