Images kindly provided by Edinburgh Leisure & cannot be used without their permission
Hello! My name is Sarah Aitken, I’m a fourth-year Occupational Therapy student at Queen Margaret University. I’ve been on placement with Alzheimer’s Scotland since September 3rd and have been learning all about the services and groups they are involved with. I attended a session at Edinburgh Leisure to discuss their new project “Movement for Memories”
I was intrigued to know more so I met with Sam Scott, Health Development Officer for dementia within Edinburgh Leisure. He holds great passion for his new project “Movement for Memories”. Sam informed me of his wealth of knowledge he had gained from his involvement in previous projects and together with the use of current research he has set out to better the life of people living with dementia.
What is Movement for Memories?
Edinburgh Leisure obtained funding from Life Changes Trust to bring this new project to life. The trust is funded by the Big Lottery. Movement for Memories is designed to support people living with dementia to be active and also people who are not diagnosed but are showing signs and symptoms of dementia can also join the project.
With various activities, including swimming, gym, golf, tennis and fitness classes there is something for everyone. To join the project, you either self-refer yourself by phone, email or on the Edinburgh Leisure website. You can also be referred by a health professional or dementia link worker.
If you are referred to Movement for Memories a member of Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities team will meet you for a 1 to 1 to help you identify your interests and provide the appropriate support, you need to get active. Edinburgh Leisure offers a Dementia Friendly Buddy Service, delivered by volunteers; supporting you to access a range of activities more confidently. For example, they might meet you at reception to show you where to go; they may help you set up gym equipment or support you round the golf course. All Movement for Memories participants will receive an Edinburgh Leisure Get Active card providing 12-weeks free access to gym, swim, golf, tennis and fitness classes followed by 9 months of concessionary access. Sam described the project to be tailored made for people with dementia. Through the project carer’s of people with dementia are also entitled to a carers access card which allows them discounted access to Edinburgh Leisure facilities.
Movement for Memories also delivers an outreach service, where Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities team work with Dementia Communities (such as dementia cafes or dementia support groups) to provide free physical activity sessions for people living with dementia. Delivered in partnership with local dementia services; activities will be based on the needs of the group and can take place in community venues or Edinburgh Leisure venues. Sessions will provide a fun introduction to different activities that will support people with dementia and their carers get active. Activities will be chosen by participants and will run once a month or over a rolling six-week programme.
How did it all come about?
Research into the benefits of physical exercise has proven a need to help encourage people living with dementia to participate in meaningful activities which allows them to keep active. To begin with, Movement for Memories team set out to find out what people living with dementia wanted from Edinburgh Leisure by visiting support groups, day clubs, care homes and getting the opinion of those who will benefit from the service. With the information gathered they developed their Buddy Service as well as an Outreach Service as this was the type of support people with dementia said would help them to be physically active
Individuals living with dementia all experience dementia differently, this results in everyone needing a different, personal and tailored level of support which these classes/buddy support sessions allow.
How do you get involved in volunteering?
Edinburgh Leisure works with volunteers to support individuals living with dementia to participate in physical activities. If you are living in Edinburgh and are looking for a volunteer opportunity and enjoy physical activity, this could be for you! Edinburgh Leisure are seeking volunteers to help support their Movement for the Memories project. Their volunteers currently come from all walks of life; from students to health professionals to people just wanting to support people with dementia. If you are interested in volunteering for Edinburgh Leisure visit the vacancies section of their webpage.
Movement for Memories volunteers will receive core Edinburgh Leisure training and dementia specific training and will be subject to a PVG check before they begin their work with the individuals living with dementia. All Movement for Memories volunteers are supported by Sam and his team and they are open to questions, suggestions and enquires regarding the project.
Thank you for reading this blog please and we would love to hear how you keep physically active when living with dementia or supporting someone with dementia.
Sarah Aitken, 4th year occupational therapy student in partnership with Sam Scott, Health Development Officer (Dementia), Edinburgh Leisure
Contact details and further questions
For further details or questions about Movement for Memories please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sam Scott.
Tel: 0131 458 2100 | Mob: 07974 174363.