At Bernard Sunley, the Woking-based residential, nursing and dementia care home run by charity Friends of the Elderly, residents have been thoroughly enjoying their twice weekly physio sessions which support and enhance their wellbeing.
Namrata Singh has been delivering physio services to the Bernard Sunley residents since January 2022 as a self-employed external provider. She said:
“I am employed by the NHS as a Community Physiotherapist and am involved in the care for care home residents. It’s wonderful to be able to deliver this key service to the residents at Bernard Sunley, as it’s extremely fulfilling and so rewarding to be able to work closely with all the residents to help support, maintain and improve their mobility and well-being.”
Since completing her BSC in 2005 in India and her MSc in 2009 at Sheffield Hallam University, Namrata has worked as a Community Physiotherapist in the NHS, with a focus on working with the elderly. Namrata visits the care home every Tuesday and Thursday and hosts a variety of physio sessions from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“I provide the residents with 1-2-1 sessions focusing on mobility and transferring practices alongside strength and balance exercises. I also deliver stretching classes and strength and balance exercise sessions in a group environment.”
Andy Cumper, the Registered Manager at Bernard Sunley said:
“Mobility is a concern for some residents and their families. Addressing this and meeting the need to support our residents’ well-being and improving their physical safety awareness is one of our main goals. It is great to be able to offer this interactive, supportive and beneficial service to all our residents.
“Physio sessions and activities are not only for athletes recovering from an injury. For our residents, the physio exercises are focused on increasing strength and mobility and to support physical and mental well-being. Physio helps our residents to build their strength, improve their stability and, as it is a group activity, it is also a good social interaction.”
Residents at Bernard Sunley thoroughly enjoy participating in the exercise group and 1-2-1 sessions and appreciate the time Namrata spends with them. Namrata added:
“They really listen and take onboard any suggestions I make to help them.
“I enjoy all the services I deliver to the residents of Bernard Sunley as they are tailored to each individual and are personal-goal oriented. I really appreciate working with the residents who have recently been discharged from hospital or have been off their feet for a while. Their commitment and enthusiasm to get better and get back to their original, physical baseline, is inspiring to see and I feel honoured to be able to help them achieve their goals and be part of their wellness journey.”
One resident who has been working with Namrata on a regular basis has gone from strength to strength. Namrata added:
“When I started the physio sessions at Bernard Sunley, one resident was struggling to walk with his walking frame. However, by taking part in the regular exercise and mobility practice classes, he is much stronger and is able to take good, supervised walks, for longer distances with his frame now.”
The physio sessions cover a wide range of exercises which Namrata tailors to ensure all individual abilities are covered. Namrata explained:
“The strength and balance classes involve seated manoeuvres and movements and include a warm-up session with stretching and breathing exercises for the cardiovascular system. The stretching warm-up helps with muscle stretching before commencing the strength exercises which improve upper and lower limb strength.
“All the residents tell me that they enjoy my sessions and I ensure that the exercises are fun, interactive, enjoyable and meet each individual’s needs and abilities. We have a bit of a tradition now as I always end each session with a fun activity we affectionately call ‘The Ball Game’. It has become quite a favourite – and quite competitive – but is so good for co-ordination. Sometimes residents try to play fast catch with me whilst others compete amongst themselves, not only in ‘The Ball Game’ but during the exercise classes too. It’s all very light-hearted competition, and everyone leaves feeling energised and in a positive frame of mind.”
Looking to future physio sessions at Bernard Sunley, Namrata concluded:
“I would like to do an advance level strength and balance exercise session which would focus on those residents who are independently mobile but would like to further improve their balance.”
“We have seen many residents’ mobility improve since participating in the physio sessions and families often comment on the improvements they can see as well. The daughter of one resident who improved his mobility after joining the home often says she can’t keep up with him now as he’s too fast for her and we have rejuvenated him!”