6th May 2015

Staff 'Step and Refresh' at The Manor House

Staff at The Manor House care home in Barnard Castle are feeling the benefit of a new health and fitness programme, designed by Nicky Morse the home’s lifestyle coordinator.

Nicky, a qualified fitness and diet practitioner, said: “Several people were chatting about losing weight and getting fitter so we decided we could help through work.

“The ‘Step and Refresh’ programme is tailor-made to whatever each person wants to achieve with individual weekly checks. Some wanted to lose weight so advice includes healthy recipes and food choices, some wanted to feel fitter and we’ve been monitoring steps around The Manor House with pedometers, others wanted to improve their hydration which affects brain and body function and have been drinking more water.

“We invited family members to take part too, so the benefits are being felt in the wider community.”

The ‘Step and Refresh’ programme runs for six weeks and around 10 people have completed it so far. Every Friday is ‘Fruity Friday’ too where a wide range of fresh homemade smoothies are available to encourage people to reap the benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables.

Jeff Folwell, who looks after maintenance at The Manor House said: “I’ve lost two stone, partly by cutting out cakes and biscuits and eating less, and my wife has lost a stone and a half.

“We’ve completely changed our eating habits. We’re checking portion sizes now and what we eat is much better quality, we really enjoy it. Your body adjusts.”

Carer Alison Palmer and her son took part. She said: “I lost a lot of weight a few years ago but it was beginning to creep back.  With this programme I’ve lost about half a stone so far and feel much better for it.

“For me it’s a combination of diet and exercise so I’ve been counting steps too. My son’s also lost weight as we’re eating more healthily.”

For head of housekeeping Shirley Watson hydration has been important. She said: “I never used to drink much water during the day but now I’ve always got a bottle of water with me.  One of the benefits is it helps you to be more alert.”

Housekeeper Michelle Kilford has also been drinking more water and taking more exercise. “The combination of exercise and drinking more water means you feel less tired. And I love the smoothies.”

Bree Fletcher, carer, said: “I hadn’t realised what a difference proper hydration could make.  I’m drinking more water and generally feel much better. I’m also counting steps to make sure I get enough exercise.”

“Now we’ve seen how successful this can be we’re continuing the programme so more staff can to join in if they want to,” Nicky added.

“And we’ve introduced ‘Make a Date’ which helps people focus on a health and fitness goal for a special occasion, for example toning up before going on holiday.

“It’s all part of promoting healthy lifestyle choices for our staff and residents, and helping people to find their motivation to improve their health and well being.”

The Manor House provides residential and dementia care and is part of Hadrian Healthcare Group.

On Friday 15 May the Check4Life Roadshow, run by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, will be in the car park at The Manor House between 9.30am and 4.45pm. 

Anyone in the local area is encouraged to come along to have a Check4Life health check, talk to the team about their health and get advice on eating well, moving more, stopping smoking, drinking less and living longer.

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