I work at ADDSI Home Living and was offered training in Active at Home more than a year ago. I saw it as a learning opportunity and as a way to do something new to help my clients.
I found the training course straightforward and didn’t encounter any problems with the material. The training provider offered good support – I could email them whenever I wanted.
Once I’d finished the course, I did struggle to enlist my first client but I guess anything new takes a bit of time to set up. I had one of my clients in mind when I finished but it took a little while to find the time to talk to them about the program and why it would work for them specifically.
Once I’d started coaching the exercises in practice it became easier to talk to other clients about Active at Home and, a year and a half on, I’m coaching four people on an ongoing basis.
The exercises themselves are easy to follow and I find teaching them straightforward as well. However, I do have to watch my clients’ posture closely in case their concentration slips.
Most of the clients I am working with practice their exercises three times a week. One lady is doing it every day. In those who are exercising regularly I have definitely seen improvements – sometimes within a few weeks.
I see one married couple who used to have balance problems. They have been exercising regularly and helping each other make progress. The other day I was pleased to see they could both do at least 30 consecutive steps of the tightrope walk exercise!
Their balance and strength have really improved. He used to have to use the side of his chair to get up and down but he can now do it unsupported. I have noticed that their confidence has grown alongside the improvements in their balance.
At ADDSI Home Living there were only a handful of us trained support workers to start with but, as the word spread, more staff took it on. Our newsletter is telling more people about it and more support workers are now in training.
I know it is early days for Active at Home but it is definitely a program that I see going further and that should be part of people’s care plan. It is a step in the right direction and there are a lot of people out there who could benefit.
I’m glad our CEO is in favour of it and knows it is a way to reable people. It helps that our clients themselves can understand why they are doing their exercises and that they start to see results quite quickly.