Keeping mobile can ward off risky health problems

BARRY’S BAY – Keeping active, especially as seniors, is the single best prescription that can be prescribed.

That’s the word from Kathy Blomquist, a registered nurse and care coordinator with the Barry’s Bay and Area Senior Citizens Home Support Services Assisted Living Program.

She was at St. Francis Memorial Hospital on March 23 administering a Tiered Exercise Program to personal support workers (PSW) and housekeepers with the agency.

The program classifies clients into one of three tiers; level one is for people who spend more time sedentary. Those in the second tier move around a bit more, but need some help with strength and balance. Seniors that fall into the third tier are active “in a low mobility kind of way,” Blomquist said.

“We work with frail seniors in their home,” she added. “The predominate piece that is going to keep them home is their level of functional mobility. The only way to maintain functional mobility is to move.”

Ten different exercises are “prescribed” depending on which tier a client falls into.

“My job with home support as a coordinator is to work with our PSWs and our clients,” Blomquist explained. “We are using the tiers to address exercise in the home.”

She spent most of the morning that day speaking to participants about why exercise matters and how to boost a client’s confidence in tackling some of the exercises.

“Sedentary behaviour is the risk,” she said. “Not moving is hugely risky. People think that when they are hurt or they are in pain, that they shouldn’t exercise.”

It’s an inside-out way of thinking, she added.

Get your March 30, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.