Supporting people to access an activity they enjoy helps build confidence to use Zoom independently for other activities and interactions.
Healthier Lifestyles Service
Prior to the pandemic, our Healthier Lifestyles service delivered face-to-face, group health hubs in community settings where people have their weight, BMI and blood pressure checked and recorded and receive advice on achieving or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Those sessions also included chair-based exercise helping to educate people on how to build strength and maintain physical independence.
In May 2020, and in response to the Covid-19 social-distancing guidelines, Healthier Lifestyles began trialling Zoom classes online to replace their community sessions. Of the 70 clients who expressed an interest in joining classes online through Zoom, ultimately 50 of them signed up and are taking part. These people already had access to hardware and connectivity to enable them to join in, but needed some support and guidance from the team to build their confidence to connect.
We are continuing to promote the sessions to encourage greater numbers to join, and we will be connecting clients with our Tech Befrienders, who will be able to support more people. This will mean the Healthier Lifestyles team have more time to run the sessions, and will spend less time helping those people connect.
We also have plans to record some short exercise videos to share through our YouTube channel, giving older people an alternative way to connect and participate.
Memory Tree Café: for those living with dementia
Our Memory Tree Café, for those living with dementia and their carers, was previously running as a weekly session including games, singing, craft activities and exercise. This has now also been brought online and has proved to be a great success.
We have reached out to people who were socially isolated and brought them together, helping them to get connected and now they look forward to weekly café. We have also implemented a second session to be run on a Saturday with the hope that others may be able to join with the support of relatives who may be working mid-week.
Since being supported by our staff to build confidence and connect to activities hosted on Zoom, our clients have stated that they are now able to use Zoom to contact family and friends and are more confident to be able to find services online independently.