Frances Claire Sepulchre, Physiotherapist at Nightingale House, writes about her role here.

I am fortunate to work within a team of amazing people who do their utmost to help and enable residents with one-to-one therapy, group exercise and mobility classes and general wellbeing. The therapy team works well above and beyond their job description and I am very proud to be a part of the multi-disciplinary team.
The therapy team is split into occupational therapists, physiotherapists and a moving and handling advisor, and every resident who comes into Nightingale House is assessed for individual intervention needs.

“20 per cent decrease in falls”

We also train all care staff on moving and handling; falls awareness and importantly, prevention, as well as offering falls prevention training for residents themselves. We have seen a 20 per cent decrease in falls in the past year after proactively pushing this programme with a clear focus on achieving fall reduction.

On a weekly basis, we offer group body conditioning exercise classes for residents. They can choose whether to attend these but we typically have around 20 attendees. In addition, each day we can have as many as 26 residents attend one-to-one physiotherapy sessions at the therapy department, and for those who are unable to come to the department, they are seen in the units or in their own room. Sessions include range of movement exercises, strengthening exercise, mobility and balance exercises (evidence based), using bean bags, therapeutic bands, dumb bells and ankle weights. All physiotherapy interventions are tailored according to each resident’s physical and medical needs and their cognition.

“A good excuse to get together”

Even though we get the odd grumbling comment from residents, or complaints about the difficulty of some of the exercises, they still keep coming every week for the group exercises and individual sessions with great attendance. Residents know coming out from their units is a good excuse to get together in a social setting and it makes them appreciate that they have routine physical activities as well.

We also run more specific group sessions (chair based, circle dancing, general body conditioning exercises and recently started a falls prevention class) to meet every resident’s social and therapeutic needs meaningfully.

One of the people I work on a one-to-one basis is a 105 year old resident, and the only time he comes out from his bedroom is when he attends to his routine physiotherapy session once a week.