In our journey to enhance the well-being and quality of life of our elderly residents, Lindisfarne Throckley Care Home in Newcastle embarked on a unique initiative. Six months ago, we introduced weekly cricket sessions designed for everyone, including those with conditions like dementia or Parkinson's and those using wheelchairs. In this case study, we focus on one resident, Jill, whose transformation exemplifies the profound changes witnessed during these sessions.
At Lindisfarne Throckley, we have always prioritised providing a caring and inclusive environment for our residents. The introduction of weekly accessible cricket sessions aimed to create opportunities for social engagement, physical well-being, and happiness among our diverse group of residents.
Jill, a resident in her 60s at Lindisfarne Throckley, had been at the Lindisfarne Care Home for years. Prior to our cricket sessions, she felt increasingly isolated and lonely. Most of her time was spent on a couch watching the telly and felt she was not doing anything active.
Physical and Mental Health Improvement
Jill's experience with our cricket sessions has been transformative. Her grip strength improved by an impressive 23%, a testament to the physical benefits of these sessions. This improvement not only brought practical benefits but also boosted her confidence and sense of independence. She said that her balance has improved, and she falls less often after attending our sessions.
Equally important is the remarkable boost in her confidence and happiness. The cricket sessions have been instrumental in fostering Jill's mental well-being. She became more confident and happier than before joining our sessions.
Community and Belonging
The sense of community fostered by our cricket sessions extended beyond the boundaries of the field. For Jill, who had been feeling lonely even while living under the same roof as many others, the sessions provided an invaluable opportunity to connect with others. She expressed, "I love cricket because I want to be around people."
Before joining our cricket sessions, Jill confessed that she had never engaged in anything strenuous, exercising less than 30 minutes per week. She said most of her day is “sitting on her backside, watching telly.” However, she described our sessions as a "welcome break" from her routine. "I'd like to do this all day," she exclaimed, reflecting the newfound joy and vigour she found through cricket.
Anticipation and Joy
Jill eagerly anticipates every Tuesday afternoon when we deliver our cricket sessions. She said, "I look forward to every Tuesday afternoon for the cricket." It's a testament to the sense of anticipation and happiness these sessions brought into her life.
Jill's case is a compelling testament to the power of accessible cricket sessions in care homes, especially for residents with dementia. These sessions have not only brought about physical and mental health improvements but have also reignited a sense of belonging, enthusiasm, and happiness in her life. Her journey reflects the positive transformation that this initiative has brought to our residents, and we remain committed to expanding and developing such programmes to continue enhancing the lives of those we care for.