Senior Games launches to Get Care Homes Moving!

The latest news related to sport and physical activity in Wiltshire and Swindon.

Senior Games launches to Get Care Homes Moving!

Posted: Tue, 04 Apr 2023 12:14

Senior Games launches to Get Care Homes Moving!

The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that older adults over the age of 65 should take part in 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week and reduce prolonged periods of being sedentary with light activity or standing. Almost a third of adults over 65 in Wiltshire are not active enough, taking part in less than 30 minutes per week. High rates of inactivity among the older population can increase the risk of falls, breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline.

The Senior Games will promote active living, wellbeing, and quality of life among older people, making every movement count, with a fun and friendly festival at the end of the 12 week project It has the long term aim of reducing avoidable hospital admissions by contributing to active ageing, and enabling individuals to live independently for as long as they are able to. The Senior Games 2023 Programme follows the success of the Virtual Senior Games in 2020 which gained coverage in both the Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers.

Dominique Oughton, Health and Wellbeing Manager from Wiltshire & Swindon Sport said:

"We are very excited to be working alongside the Public Health Team at Wiltshire Council to support our local residents in care homes and in domiciliary care, with opportunities to move more and improve overall wellbeing. The population aged 65 and over in the UK is projected to increase by almost a third in the next 20 years. Physical activity can increase mobility, help prevent falls and fractures, and reduce the risk of some diseases associated with aging. Engaging older adults in activities which break up long term sedentary behaviours is essential for the prevention of falls and injuries."

Each Care home will receive weekly visits from a qualified coach over the 12-weeks who will deliver a range of activities which will improve balance, strength and confidence as well as giving them fun new activities to try. British Gymnastics 'Love to Move' programme will also be delivered which focuses on seated movement to music. A member of the Care Home staff will be identified as a Physical Activity Ambassador and they will work closely with the deliverer, building on the skills to deliver additional sessions throughout the week. Physical function tests are conducted at the first sessions in each care home, with retesting taking place in the final week to measure improvements in physical function as a result of the programme.

After one session care homes are already seeing the impact the Senior Games is having on their residents. Denise Heydon-Brown, Lead Leisure and Wellness Coordinator at Wiltshire Heights Care Home said:

"We have so much fun. The residents love to meet new people and the addition of Katie into our regular exercise routine benefits not only the physical element but mental wellness too. Katie brings a fresh outlook to the exercise programme which we incorporate throughout the rest of the week. We all get excited for Tuesdays and Katie's lovely demeanour and winning smile!

Exercise is the most popular activity here at Wiltshire Heights. The room is packed each morning. We definitely notice a difference if residents have been not participating for a while. Their lack of motivation being the first thing we see. Bringing residents back on board can be a challenge. This is where the Senior Games comes into its own. A new challenge, a new face, and new ideas all help to give us all an injection of positivity."

WASP and Wiltshire Council are looking forward to seeing how the participants get on with the Senior Games programme and preparation has already begun for the Physical Activity Festival in June.

You can find out further information fantastic activities and clubs available across the county for older people and their carers on the WASP website: Older Adults | Wiltshire & Swindon Sport (

Tags: Ageing Well, Senior Games