Day of celebration for older residents at Harlow hospital
Older patients and residents were at the heart of celebrations at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust recently when the Lord Lieutenant of Essex was a guest of honour to mark Older People's Day.
Staff at the Harlow hospital put on a day of activities specially for older people and used the occasion to demonstrate the different services available that aim to improve their quality of life, as well as highlighting the hospital's specialist services for the frail elderly.
The event was opened by HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst, who praised the hospital's focus on the needs of an increasingly ageing population, including enabling activity and exercise. Mrs Tolhurst said: "There are so many things that older people can do. Interaction with other people and gentle exercise helps to give elderly people the confidence to join in and perhaps to continue to live independently. This is increasingly being understood and made possible."
A morning session aimed at healthcare professionals attracted more than 60 attendees, from acute, primary and social care including the voluntary sectors.
An afternoon session was centred on our older patients and families and offered a range of activities, including the Harlow Ukulele Group and Rainbows Services, which saw older people joining in dancing, balloon tennis, and knitting over an afternoon tea.
Kelly Tarling from Rainbow Services, said: "We encouraged older people to join our community based activity groups. This was a taster of the activities we run all over Harlow"
The red hats knitted by the older people were handed over to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and were received by the team led by unit manager Janelle Gardner. A red hat immediately identifies a vulnerable baby that needs additional attention.
Janice Bernardo, Frailty Lead Practitioner commented: "It was overwhelming to have representatives from different sectors in one room, sharing integrated plans to deliver what matters to our older people - to live well closer to home. We definitely can't do it alone. The Frailty Team would like to thank everyone who supported this event."
The event was also an opportunity to launch the Frailty Friends campaign. This aims to enable healthcare workers to speedily identify those in the frailty category and signpost to the various resources available to patient, families, carers, staff and the public.
If you are interested in becoming a Frailty Friend please email Frailty@pah.nhs.uk