Walk to victory plan for pensioners deprived of exercise



Lisa Sohn is one of the lifestyle coordinators at Edinburgh’s most exclusive care homes, Cramond Residence.

PENSIONERS deprived of proper exercise during the lockdown are now being coaxed back into action at Edinburgh’s most exclusive care home – by the lure of raising cash to battle dementia.

Canny staff at Cramond Residence in Edinburgh have set a challenge for residents, giving them a month to get in the best possible shape for a major fundraising push.

Care and clinical workers hope the attraction of doing their bit for Alzheimer’s Month will also help the residents shake off the potentially debilitating effects of five months in lockdown.

Lisa Sohn, Lifestyle Coordinator at the purpose-built, 74-room care home, pointed out that extensive research has shown how older people are adversely affected by periods of inactivity, suffering accelerated muscle loss.

Lisa said: “It’s a vicious circle. The more inactive an older person it is, the harder it becomes to get them back into a good place. We’ve done everything we can to keep our residents active here, but we’re hoping this new challenge will really make a difference.

“We are lucky to have beautiful gardens at Cramond Residence so we’ve come up with a plan to mark Alzheimer’s Month throughout September, encouraging our residents to walk as often as possible.

“We’re going to build up to a big fundraising day on September 30. That will see our residents doing as many laps of the garden as possible, while asking their family and friends to make a pledge to Alzheimer Scotland.

“Everyone here has a vested interest in this. Not only is it a great way to keep our people in tip-top condition, but we all know residents who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. This lets us all do our bit to fight this terrible condition.”

Reopening of Cramond Residence’s beautiful garden has been the main impetus for the challenge. However, it has also been partly inspired by the story of former British Army Captain Tom Moore.

His garden walks during lockdown and in the run up to his 100th birthday turned him into a national celebrity. He also raised more than £32m for the NHS – and earned a knighthood as a result.

Lisa added: “All of our residents followed the story of Captain Tom during lockdown, so we’re hoping that will also help inspire them.

“Happily, most of them are champing at the bit to get back out walking outside and the garden walks will be one of our major focuses throughout September.”

Cramond Residence is a purpose-built care home created at a cost of £12.5m and opened in October 2018. It combines luxury, five-star accommodation with outstanding clinical standards. Each resident enjoys a luxury room with en-suite bathroom facilities – with places available from £1850 per week.

It can care for up to 74 older people, with specialised self-contained houses for those residents living with an advanced stage of cognitive impairment induced by conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

It maintains a care staff to resident ratio of at least 1:4 at all times and promotes a small-group living philosophy. That means groups of eight rooms form distinct “houses”, where residents are encouraged to eat and socialise together. This is believed to have played a major role in successful infection control during the Coronavirus pandemic to date.

Places in the care home start from £1850 a week. To find out more, call 0131 341 4037 or visit https://cramondresidence.co.uk/