Weston care home takes on national project to reduce trips and falls

PUBLISHED: 13:00 31 May 2018

Betty Collins and her zimmer frame. Picture: Sue Green

Betty Collins and her zimmer frame. Picture: Sue Green

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A Weston care home has adopted a nationwide campaign aimed to improve people’s safety.

Weston Mayor Jos Holder, Abbey Gate manager Marie McMillan and town councillor Mike Bell. Picture: Sue GreenWeston Mayor Jos Holder, Abbey Gate manager Marie McMillan and town councillor Mike Bell. Picture: Sue Green

Abbey Gate, in Beach Road, held a Pimp My Zimmer event during Dementia Action Week which involved nursery children helping elderly people and those living with dementia to decorate their walking aids.

Zimmer frames are usually grey, making them hard for people with dementia to tell apart or, in some cases, see them clearly.

But with the help of care home staff and creative youngsters, people had their frames transformed into colourful works of art.

The Alzheimer’s Society this month published a report stating people with dementia in the UK are being ‘let down due to inadequate care’ but the project, organised largely by NHS commissioners, aims to reduce the number of trips and falls.

Betty Collins with her zimmer frame. Picture: Sue GreenBetty Collins with her zimmer frame. Picture: Sue Green

Weston’s Mayor Jos Holder and central ward councillor Mike Bell attended the event at Abbey Gate and children from Honey Tree Nursery, in Grange Road, helped to decorate the frames.

Brighter colours have been proven to be more easily recognisable to people with cognitive impairments, with the recorded number of falls in some care homes being reduced by 60 per cent after adopting the project.

Abbey Gate manager Marie McMillan said: “All our residents have had a go and really got involved with the project.

“They loved the interaction with the children and enjoyed the creative process as it is good to have something which stimulates their minds.

Abbey Gate Pimp My Zimmer event. Picture: Sue GreenAbbey Gate Pimp My Zimmer event. Picture: Sue Green

“We think this is an important project because if someone picks the wrong walking frame which is not adjusted for their height it could lead to a serious accident.

“Having the children here also made it a more community-based project because inter-generational interaction is important for society.

“We hope other care homes follow suit.”

Abbey Gate resident Betty Collins had her zimmer frame decorated by Honey Tree youngsters, and she believes it will make a big difference in her day-to-day life.

Abbey Gate Pimp My Zimmer event. Picture: Sue GreenAbbey Gate Pimp My Zimmer event. Picture: Sue Green

She said: “This will definitely help me to recognise my own walking frame.

“It is very easy to pick up another person’s frame because they all look the same.

“The kids have done a great job.”

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