Life After COVID-19: What is the future for care homes?


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the residents and staff at care homes.

Care homes have been under immense pressure to protect their residents and staff from contracting COVID-19.

The introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a huge relief. The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being administered to care home residents and staff as a priority.

This has allowed many of us to begin preparing for a future without COVID-19.



The impact of COVID-19?

A recent report from Age UK, titled ‘Joint Committee on Human Rights COVID-19: human rights implications for older people, states the following:
“Older people, and particularly those shielding or at high risk, are advised to sustain social distancing measures for a lengthy period.
There is a significant risk that people’s social networks and support systems will be irreparably damaged. There is also a high risk that people who lose mobility or develop frailty over this period will not regain that physical function.”
Chair-Based Exercises can be arranged with an accredited trainer.




How could a chair-based exercise group help?

Benefits of exercise

One general benefit of physical activity is increased enjoyment.
This is related to the release of endorphins and ‘feel-good’ hormones and the likely positive ripple effect is feeling good. This can have a further positive impact on self-image, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
One benefit of exercise is improved functional fitness in certain everyday activities, such as increasing shoulder function can lead to the increased ability to wash and style hair and to get dressed, thus promoting independence.

Benefits for frailer older people

The benefits of physical activity and exercise for frailer older people includes:
  • Increased heart and circulatory function,
  • Bone strength, muscle condition and function,
  • Improved sleep, and mood.
  • Positive management of  medical conditions
  • Help to prevent Osteoporosis, reduce hypertension (high blood pressure),
  • Help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Help with mental health conditions such as low mood, depression, anxiety, and dementia.

Benefits for frailer adults with disabilities

The benefit of physical activity and exercise for adults with disabilities include:
  • Increased heart and circulatory function,
  • Increase bone strength, muscle condition and function,
  • Improved sleep, and mood.
  • Prevent heart disease and respiratory conditions


Falls Prevention – what are the benefits?

“Older people living in care homes are three times more likely to fall than older people living in their own homes”,

(Managing falls and fractures in care homes for older people Good practice self-assessment resource: Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland 2011 and NHS Scotland 2011.)
  • 30% of people aged 65 and over will fall at least once a year.
  • For those aged over 80 and over this number increases to 50%.
  • Care homes have a duty to reduce falls under the Health and Safety in Care Homes, 2001.
A falls awareness and prevention programme led by an Occupational Therapist to train care home staff can be beneficial by explaining the causal factors behind falls and therefore can help to reduce these factors and ultimately increase confidence.
Individual residents would benefit from having person-centred risk assessment from an Occupational Therapist to further reduce the risk of falls.




Cognitive Skills Therapy, recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, 2011

Residents with mild to moderate dementia can participate in Cognitive Skills Therapy (CST) to encourage cognitive skills through activities and discussions.
Increase the positive experiences of being in a therapeutic group.
Designed to increase feelings of self-esteem, self-identity and self- worth and increase quality of life.




The implementation of ‘lockdown’ has had a wide-ranging impact on older people.

Enforced isolation has exacerbated many of the existing challenges older people face.

Care homes are in a unique position to adopt a resident focused person-centred approach to promotes positive wellbeing, motivation.

To support residents to partake in therapeutically beneficial activities, such as Chair-based exercise and CST.

To boost resident’s self-confidence, self-esteem and help them to feel valued.

There is a positive hope for the future of care homes.

If you would like further information on Chair-Based Exercises, Falls Prevention and Cognitive Skills Therapy (CST) from an Occupational Therapist,

please telephone on 07341265564 or email on or complete the contact form here.




Led by Sophia Occupational Therapist, based in Leicestershire

©  Produced by Home Independence Occupational Therapy Ltd, a Leicestershire-based company.