Get up and go, has it got up and gone?

My name is Edith and I work as the national Rehabilitation Consultant in the Care Inspectorate, my background is in Occupational Therapy. The Care Inspectorate is the scrutiny and improvement body for care services in Scotland and my role in the organisation is all about improving the quality of life, health and well – being for those people who live in or use them. I have the privilege and pleasure of working across many organisations and sectors and meet a diverse group of people locally, nationally and internationally.

Promoting Physical Activity in the Care Sector

Over the past few years one of the areas I have been involved in is promoting physical activity in the care sector through the work of the Go for ‘Gold Challenge Scotland Programme’. I never fail to be inspired by those older people who despite the challenge of frailty and in many cases a diagnosis of dementia take part in various physical challenge events annually with great enthusiasm. Their desire to be active and let’s face it, be competitive, drives them to get up and go no matter what age or stage in life!

Benefits of Physical Activity

Being active, which helps us to be independent, is of course a basic human drive in all of us and having a reason to do that makes us get up in the morning! We all need a purpose and need to be valued, feeling we contribute to life and to the lives of others. Does that stop as we get older if we live with dementia or our home is in a care home? I don’t think so!

So what’s out there to help care home staff to make the difference?

In order to support care home staff to promote active living in a care home, this past year has seen the development of ‘Care… about physical activity’.

1The ‘Care… about physical activity resource pack highlights to managers and staff in care homes the importance of moving more often. It explains the difference regular, physical activity can make to everyone’s health, well-being and overall quality of life. The clear message is that “doing something is better than doing nothing!

One of the great things about this resource is that it highlights how easy it is to move a bit more often every day. It doesn’t require complex, organised activities to be more active, although these can be helpful, it is about seeing and taking the every- day opportunities there are to be active and enjoy life. It may be something as simple as making a cup of tea, going for a walk or taking part in a spot of gardening that will make the difference when it comes to supporting people to get up and move around and enjoy a better quality of life, especially as people get older. It also helps to prevent falls and fractures which is very important in a care home setting.

The Resource Pack Launch

The resource pack was launched at Kincarrathie House care home in Perth on the 25th March 2014.  Launching the resource pack Scotland’s Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson said:

“I’m delighted to be launching this resource pack. This resource will help care services across Scotland find practical ways to build regular physical activity into the daily lives of thousands of people. People who use care services often just need a little bit of support to keep active and experience a better quality of life. This pack is a great way to help services to do that.”


(By courtesy of the Care Inspectorate: Resident Jean Cairns chats to Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health at launch event at Kincarrathie House care home)

The resource pack has been issued to over 900 care homes for older people in Scotland.

The website source URL for ‘Care… about physical activity’ resource pack can be accessed at:

Don’t let your “get up and go” escape!!

The message about increasing physical activity is for all of us, not just for care home residents and care staff.

So….what can you to do tomorrow, next week, next month or next year to support people to be more active every day and to affect positively a person’s quality of life? And what about you?!



Edith Macintosh
Rehabilitation Consultant, Care Inspectorate

I have been in the role of Rehabilitation Consultant for 4 and a half years. This is an improvement role within the Care Inspectorate funded by the Scottish Government and is a national lead role. I support improvements in the care sector particularly with care homes for older people in areas relating to rehabilitation. Alot of my work also touches care at home services. Some of the areas that I have been particularly involved in are falls prevention and management, person centred care, physical activity and the Go For Gold Challenge Scotland Programme and developing AHP practice placements in care homes for older people.


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