AT THE recent NHS Tayside Quality Awards, Angus Cardiac Group received a ‘highly commended’ certificate for their innovative project ‘Angus Activity Programme for People with a Long Term Condition’.
This project is a collaborative venture involving Angus Cardiac Group, Angus Community Health Partnership, Angus Council Leisure Services and the Angus COPD Group, and has the ultimate aim of providing exercise opportunities for every person in Angus with a long term health condition, as well as their partners and carers.
The main funder for the project is the Long Term Conditions Alliance Scotland and, since the project started 18 months ago, 20 seated (chair-based) exercise classes have been established in various locations in Angus.
These classes are held in Leisure Centres, hospitals, sheltered housing and care homes.
Also available are 10 circuit classes and two gym-based classes. Trials are proceeding for one-to-one sessions for the housebound and organisers are also piloting the use of the Wii.
The importance of exercise for people with a long term condition cannot be understated. Forty per cent of the population of Scotland lives with at least one long term condition.
The benefits of exercise, both physical and mental, are well known.
The percentage will rise due to the older population living longer and the younger population leading unhealthy lifestyles.
Fifty-five per cent of people diagnosed with a long term condition suffer from depression and this will affect not only their quality of life but also their lifespan.
But people with a long term condition who exercise regularly will, on average, live for five years longer than those who don’t exercise.
This project is not just helpful but is essential for a happy and healthy life and it will help participants to better self-manage their condition.
Angus Cardiac Group has recruited 17 volunteers from local self-help groups and, after training, they have played an invaluable part in various roles, particularly in assisting with and leading exercise sessions.
Anyone in Angus with a long-term health condition who wants to manage their condition as effectively as possible is advised to join one of the many exercise classes available. To find out about these contact your local leisure centre, speak to a health professional or visit www.anguscardiacgroup.co.uk