Covid-19. Necessity to get back to regular physical activity in nursing homes
Covid-19 imposed nursing homes directors and professionals to take drastic measures such as:
- Isolation of residents in their rooms, or with limiting restrictions to go out.
- Suspension (or clear reduction) of visits by self-employed physiotherapists or psychomotor specialists, and therefore personalized rehabilitation sessions.
- Discontinuance of physical activity in group sessions, for instance sessions provided by activity coordinators or sport coaches.
However, the benefits of adapted physical activity on physical and mental health are well established. But the fear of falling, reduced mobility and a general lack of motivation (which is accentuated by the isolation) mean that our seniors naturally tend to not move or very little.
The lock-down repercussions
The risks of inactivity are numerous. These include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, anxiety, and depression, as well as a more rapid loss of independence.
It therefore becomes urgent to resume a regular adapted physical activity for our seniors living in nursing homes.
Of course, since the start of confinement, nursing homes professionals have all ramped up their efforts to keep their residents moving. However, the conditions, in particular for activities carried out in a room, made their tasks difficult and the engagement of residents generally low.
Deconfinement unfortunately does not mean a return to "normal"
Gradually, in many places, nursing homes can (under strict rules) reopen their doors to residents' families and relatives. Hence, social isolation, which has reached a dangerous level, will progressively give way to more interactions and more social exchanges. But there is still a long way to go before we can touch each other, kiss, hug.
The same goes for adapted physical activity.
Organized sports sessions and outings, offered to groups of residents before the pandemic, will certainly not be able to resume for several more months.
Then, how can we stimulate the residents and encourage them to move more?
How do we offer them a physical activity that can be entertaining, motivating, but above all suitable for everyone? Especially in a context where this activity will continue to be provided individually or at best in small groups, with respect for social distancing?
SilverFit systems: true support for nursing homes and professionals
Many nursing home professionals already equipped with the SilverFit 3D and / or the SilverFit Mile have expressed their joy at being able to use these systems during this specific period of confinement.
For instance, the SilverFit 3D was moved from room to room. Its different programs and difficulty levels that are adaptable to each, as well as its fun and stimulating interface, have enabled residents to keep on doing therapeutic activity, which was beneficial to their mobility, but above all allowed them to have fun and pleasant times.
The SilverFit Mile has enabled residents to cycle in the midst of invigorating or soothing landscapes of mountains, beach, countryside or downtown.
We also hope that it will soon be possible again for nursing homes to organize sessions in small groups, in compliance with the security and distancing rules.
Indeed, SilverFit 3D sessions with three or four residents, would produce healthy emulation, encouragement, laughter and exchanges between residents, around the games and performances of each.
SilverFit Mile sessions for two would be an opportunity to share memories and emotions, thanks to the realistic images of this system. A beautiful trip for two around the World, while staying in the secure setting of the residence!