Supervised physical activity for elderly people and other residents near home
- At the moment, all activities are organized virtually for safety reasons and the participants are able to join directly from their homes.
- Different interactive home exercise classes are organized every week Monday to Friday starting at 11 o´clock (except during holidays) until June 24.
- From June 28 classes are organized every Tuesday and Friday until the end of August.
- The instructions are given in simple Finnish but the instructor shows all the training movements so it is possible to participate by following the example.
- The project is extended until the end of 2021 due to the coronavirus situation.
Regular exercise will be organised for older people and other residents in housing companies’ clubrooms and surroundings. Volunteer instructors will be trained to continue physical activities in clubrooms.
The start of the project was delayed due to the coronavirus situation. The project started in September 2020. During the spring of 2021 the focus will be on organizing regular exercise virtually due to the coronavirus situation.
The aim of the project is to support the functional capacity of older people living at home by means of regular exercise in the clubrooms, courtyards or surroundings of housing companies. The activities aim to increase the sense of community of the local residents and reduce experiences of loneliness. The activities are particularly targeted at older people who have difficulties in participating in other existing exercise services due to low income or limited functional capacity, for example.
Actions and operating areas:
A key action of the project is to organise exercise activities based on the wishes of older people near their homes. The activities will start with the Age Institute’s Together in the Neighbourhood clubs, which need support in organising exercise activities. In the autumn of 2020, the project’s operating area was the Together in the Neighbourhood clubs in Puotinharju, Myllypuro, Pohjois-Haaga and Länsi-Pasila. For the spring, the plan was to expand the activities to the Together in the Neighbourhood clubs in the areas of Siltamäki, Suutarila and Tapanila. Due to the coronavirus situation, this expansion is postponed until further notice. Also other older people’s clubs interested in increasing exercise activities can contact the project worker about starting a cooperation.
The plan for the spring of 2021, is to design Senior Exercise Backpacks that would support Together in the Neighbourhood clubs in adding exercise in their own activities. The aim is to put together five backpacks and give these to different Together in the Neighbourhood clubs for testing. Based on the evaluations, the backpacks will be further developed so that they can better serve in supporting the Together in the Neighbourhood clubs in organising exercise activities also individually.
The older people’s groups will be supported in organising physical activities in particular, and clubs will be provided with materials and tips for activity content. Exercise will be initially organised with instruction, but to ensure the continuity of the activities the aim is to find volunteers in the clubs or elsewhere nearby to continue the physical activities.
During the project, the possibilities of digital solutions in organising physical activities for older people in housing companies’ clubrooms will also be explored. Due to the coronavirus situation, the focus will be on the digital solutions during the spring of 2021. The chair exercise classes are part of the experiment and it is possible for the elderly to join for free from their own homes using their own equipment. The classes aim to be interactive, and the participants get to chat with each other as well as with the instructors before and after exercising. It will be evaluated whether it is an option to continue with virtual exercises as part of the groups’ activities also after the coronavirus situation.
The goal is that at least half of the older people’s clubs involved in the project will continue to carry out exercise activities on their own once this project has ended. Either with support instructions from a volunteer or using technology.
Based on the City of Helsinki´s coronavirus guidelines all physical group activities are suspended until further notice. Currently, activities are organized solely virtually so that participating can be done safely. Should the coronavirus situation improve, it will be evaluated whether it is safe to start organizing group activities and events again.
If the physical groups can be restarted, the safety of the group participants will be ensured by keeping the group sizes small, by reminding people of the importance of good hand and coughing hygiene, and by keeping safe distances. The primary aim is to organise the exercise sessions outdoors. The City of Helsinki’s coronavirus guidelines will be applied in all activities.
Recruiting a project employee
Starting the project and planning the content
Starting the first groups
Starting new groups, recruiting and instructing volunteers
5Dec 2020-Feb 2021
Online guided exercise, other activities suspended due to restrictions
Instilling the established activities
Final evaluation. End of project