Age UK Oxfordshire Helping Older People to Stay Active in Crisis

One of the ways Age UK Oxfordshire’s physical activity service, Generation Games, has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic is by creating a new home exercise DVD to enable people to remain active whilst at home.

Since lockdown in March 2020, they have made 18 home exercise videos publishing one per week on their website and YouTube channel generationgamesuk. These freely available videos have been extremely useful in keeping people in Oxfordshire (and beyond) active and have had over 28,000 views on YouTube to date. These films are especially suitable for older people who may not feel that the current offer of live online exercise classes is suitable for them. The collection of videos feature a variety of exercise sessions available ranging from Strength and Balance which great for anyone who is worried about their balance, to Tai Chi which can have a really positive effect on mental health, as well as Pilates and general aerobics.

Generation Games were overwhelmed by the positive reception to their videos. One user, Tricia, emailed to say: “Thank you so much for these sessions! [I’m] really enjoying them and feeling the benefit as have the family and friends I have forwarded them to. Very well thought-out exercises to manage at home.”

And another home exerciser, Janet, emailed to say: “So glad you decided to make these videos. They are very helpful and not too difficult!”

However, not everybody has access to the Internet. 24% of people aged 65+ have not used the internet in the last 3 months and there are 3.4 million people aged 65+ who have never used the Internet*.

This is why Generation Games produced a DVD at the beginning of July that features three Strength and Balance and two Tai Chi films.

Alastair Thomas, Head of Generation Games said: “We are very aware of how quickly people can become deconditioned if they do not remain active, which has been exacerbated during this time of lockdown and beyond for those who are shielding. The home exercise DVD is suitable for older people or people with long term health conditions; we have received a lot of positive feedback about it already.”

If you would like to receive a copy of the free strength and balance DVD for yourself or a family member or friend, please get in touch with Generation Games on gg@ageukoxfordshire.org.uk or telephone 01235 849 403.

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