Thorney Croft Care Home in Stranraer has joined the national ‘Pimp My Zimmer’ campaign – a unique initiative aimed at brightening up the traditional walking aids with personalised decorations. The craze has also seen significant health benefits, helping reduce the risk of falls within care homes.
The campaign was devised by creative care home manager, Angela Donlevy from Essex, after she dreamt about how she could add some colour to the grey walking aids used by elderly residents. Little did she know that her idea would have such a huge impact, with the new-look frames reducing falls in the home by 60%!
After hearing about the campaign, Thorney Croft, which is part of national social care charity Community Integrated Care and support 60 older people, some of whom have dementia, decided to embrace the craze. Now every resident who needs a walking aid has their very own pimped up Zimmer!
Walking frames throughout the home are adorned with colourful foam padding, bright ribbons, personal photos and memorabilia, and are proving to be a huge hit with residents. Relatives, staff and members of the local community have all been involved in the project, generously donating materials, fabrics and decorations, tailored to each resident’s tastes.
Hayley Mann, Care Home Manager at Thorney Croft, says: “This project is a great example of a simple idea with a very strong impact. Grey zimmer frames are often not recognisable to people living with dementia, as they disappear into their surroundings and are difficult to see. Personalising the frames has really helped people we support connect with their frames, reducing the risk of falls.”
She continues: “As well as the practical health benefits it has created, ‘Pimp My Zimmer’ has been such an interesting and interactive activity for residents, staff and relatives to work on together – it’s really added a sense of fun to our home. I’d like to say a huge thanks to our NHS colleagues, Physiotherapist Jen Graham and Podiatrist Pamela Muirhead for signposting us to this brilliant campaign.”