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Care homes in Norwich are being encouraged to take part in ‘Pimp My Zimmer’.
Some care homes have already made a start, getting residents to decorate their walking frames.
Why? Well it’s great fun but it’s also much, much more than that:
- It helps older people recognise their own walking frame when they want to walk. If they pick the wrong walking frame that is not adjusted for their height then they are at much greater risk of falling.
- The personalisation helps people connect with their frames – especially for those living with a cognitive impairment or dementia. The more colourful the better, as often grey frames “disappear” into their surroundings and are difficult to see.
- Doing things and having fun makes life better. The care homes that have embraced ‘Pimp My Zimmer’ have been enriching their residents’ lives.
- Social exclusion is a problem in our society. Schools and colleges could bring the generations together by helping their local care home decorate walking frames.
- It is something children can do with their granny or granddad.
Care homes in Norwich and South Norfolk were initially invited to have a go by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.
There was a mini competition held and Bowthorpe Care Village was judged the winner. On Thursday January 26th, the Mayor of Norwich, Cllr Marion Maxwell, presented the residents and staff of Bowthorpe Care Village with a certificate.
Helen Phillips, Activities and Volunteer Co-ordinator at the Bowthorpe Care Village said: “Our residents and tenants are delighted to have won this competition, everyone had a lot of fun decorating their frames and its lovely to see them in use around the care village.
“Of course, we are fully supportive of the more serious side of the initiative as well, recognising the need to help everyone to remember how using their frame can help to prevent falls.”
Nurses Kate Wyatt and Irene Karrouze were among the NHS staff who led the project.
Kate said: “It’s a bit of fun, it is inclusive, families can get involved and it helps to personalise walking frames which all look the same, and are usually provided by the NHS and social care.”
The project came about because the nurses are going into care homes delivering education and training to help them support their residents. Preventing falls is one of the big areas of concern, as is avoiding dehydration which can lead to serious illness. The training is being rolled out across 30 care homes in North Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk this spring.
Louise McGreevy is Falls & Dementia Services Coordinator with the NHS community services trust, NCH&C. She said: “This project is a great example of a simple idea with a very strong impact – it is really helpful in reducing falls risk, ensuring that people personalise and use their frame, but also has a lovely social angle and creates a great talking point, bringing different generations together.”