Lifting the lockdown blues at Ashton-under-Lyne care home

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Downshaw Lodge in Ashton-under-Lyne is treating residents to fun and fabulous fitness sessions to banish their lockdown blues.

Staff at the care home, which caters for gentlemen living with dementia, wanted to ensure that the residents’ lives were disrupted as little possible during the period of lockdown.

Alex McClusky, the head of the domestic team at Downshaw Lodge, is a keen fitness fanatic, and offered to run engaging and energetic cardio sessions in the home’s car park, to keep both residents and staff active when movement outside the home is restricted.

The activities have been positively received by both the home and its neighbours, with locals regularly coming out to wave and clap, encouraging them to keep going.

Kasia Kapalka, home manager at Downshaw Lodge, said: “It is a difficult and frustrating time for everyone, particularly for people living with dementia because they may not always fully understand the reason for the lockdown. We wanted to make life as normal as possible for our residents while putting a smile on their faces at the same time.

“Alex is doing an amazing job running the sessions, and the residents love the high energy cardio and bums, legs and tums classes, all run to fun and engaging music out in the fresh air.

“It’s heart-warming to see members of the community smiling and waving when they see us out there getting fit. Someone even posted a little porcelain angel through the door to thank the team for doing such a good job. We’re hoping to continue it even after the lockdown’s over, as long as the weather stays nice.”

Anthony, a resident at Downshaw Lodge, said: “I’m really enjoying the daily exercise sessions. It’s nice to start the day with something energetic and fun. The carers are doing their very best to make us smile. They are wonderful.”

Downshaw Lodge is owned and managed by Qualia Care, an independent registered provider of social care, with care homes across the North of England.

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