Written by Active Oxofordshire
Winter is on the way, and tackling loneliness is never more important than during the colder and darker months. Programmes like Move Together play a vital role in helping those living alone, including elderly people, often with reduced mobility, and people struggling with long term health conditions to move more. By doing so, they can make connections to improve their sense of community, building their confidence and strength.
Right now, 20,400 older people in Oxfordshire experience loneliness at least some of the time, and more than 130,000 people are living with two or more long term health conditions. Moving more can make a significant difference to not only preventing and managing health conditions, but on reducing loneliness, too.
The power of Move Together's approach
What makes Move Together's approach so effective is the personalised support on offer for each person who engages, recognising that everyone has different needs. Local co-ordinators are on hand in each district to provide advice and support through regular phone calls and home visits. The support on offer includes activity packs, exercises to do at home and, critically, the chance to connect with other people in a similar situation at community activities, exercise classes or health walks.
More connected, confident and motivated: the wider benefits of Move Together
In total, Move Together has provided 1,700 people with support to move more. Out of the participants who had initial assessments, 59% felt sometimes or always isolated. One of the main themes emerging from Move Together'swider benefits is the power of moving more as a driver to connect people together, increase confidence and reduce isolation. At a follow up review, 38% of people asked said that they have decreased their levels of loneliness as a result of engaging with Move Together.
The benefits of Move Together reach way beyond physical activity. People engaging with the programme are more connected, more confident and more motivated. Most importantly, they are being given the tools they need to stay active in the future – together.
For more information about Move Together, please visit https://www.activeoxfordshire.org/move-together