Social care provider Persona encourage activity in respite residents


Older people in respite accommodation are keeping active and healthy thanks to a range of new sports and fitness activities


Customers of Bury Social care provider Persona have been enjoying the new sessions at its Elmhurst and Spurr House short stay centres, after Persona secured funding for a 12-month programme in partnership with Bury Council. 


Customers are taking part in regular sessions each week which include zumba, pilates, dancing, bowling, and archery.


Funding for the activities has come from Sport England’s Bridging the Gap programme, which aims to widen opportunities to access sporting and fitness activities. Sessions are delivered by local sports education provider Shooting Stars .


Persona will widen the programme of activities to other customers using its day care centres during 2018 – including people with physical and learning disabilities.


Persona Managing Director Kat Sowden said: “Staying fit and active is vitally important at any time of life. But often older people struggle to find ways to enjoy physical activity, so we’re delighted to be able to offer this exciting programme of activities for our customers. 


“There are lots of sports and exercise classes to choose from with something for everyone. The sessions have had an uplifting effect on those taking part, with customers actively looking forward to what exciting activities are in store for future sessions.”  


“We are starting the programme with older people and people with dementia who come to us for a short respite stay – either for a carer break or when someone has just come out of hospital. They’ve been very popular so far with customers telling us they really enjoy the sessions. 


“For people with dementia in particular there is lots of evidence that keeping active is crucial. It’s good for the body, but it’s also good for the mind and well being too.”


Persona was set up in October 2015 and is an independent company wholly owned by Bury Council. Persona runs services on the council’s behalf which were previously provided in-house by the authority. 


Spurr House in Unsworth provides 36 short stay beds and specialises in dementia; while Elmhurst in Whitefield offers 27 beds for older people. As well as short stay accommodation, the centres provide specialist health and social care support. Staff are on hand 24/7, with residents provided with all meals and enjoying access to onsite hair and beauty salons


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