Workout for armchair fans at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital

GOOD SPORTS: (Back row, l-r) John Ashelford, Daphne Males and David Goodridge of the League of Friends; (Front) physiotherapist Sherree Kempton, patients Tony Stevens and Barbara Foster, and rehabilitation assistant Sue Colley

Workout for armchair fans at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital

by Andy Tong | 24th January 2019

A PROGRAMME of leisurely physical pursuits is helping patients with their recovery at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital.

The activities being offered include armchair football, games of catch and skittles.

The physiotherapy team, run by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, introduced the sports equipment to their weekly exercise group thanks to a donation by the hospital’s League of Friends.

Patients are supported to perform warm-up exercises to improve their mobility and muscle strength.

Afterwards they join in the series of games, which are designed to work different muscle groups – all from the safety of their armchair.

The brainchild of physiotherapist Sherree Kempton and rehabilitation assistant Sue Colley, the activities not only support physical health, but also emotional wellbeing.

Sherree said: “We know how important it is to get people up and moving when they are in hospital, so we can get them home safely and managing as independently as possible.

“The challenge for us is creating a physiotherapy session for people with reduced mobility that supports their rehab but is also good fun.

“It’s not just their muscles that get a good workout, there is lots of laughter and social interaction, too, which is so important.”

John Ashelford, the League of Friends Vice-Chair, said: “Sherree approached us with a wish list of items that she wanted to support her exercise group and we were delighted to help.

“We are so pleased it’s being put to such excellent use to support local people to recover faster.”

Tony Stevens, an 88-year-old from Paddock Wood, was rehabilitating at the cottage hospital after a stay in the Pembury hospital because he was having trouble breathing.

He said: “It’s been hard being in hospital for so long, but they are very good here and it feels very homely. The exercise group gives you a break and it makes a nice change to talk to different people.”

Barbara Foster, 85, was admitted for physical therapy after falling and breaking her hip.

She said: “I have been so well looked after. I am excited to get up and moving. You have to stay positive and keep going.”

Sherree said: “We are really grateful to the League of Friends. The equipment is really making a difference to the experience our patients have when they are here.”

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