Only a few days without physical activity might cause hard-to-reverse effects in the body of an elderly person. This can be prevented!
Due to the introduced state of epidemic, the Ministry of Health and Chief Sanitary Inspector advise seniors to avoid public places in order to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Polish Chamber of Physiotherapists and the Ministry of Health prepared an “Active senior at home” prevention program. It is a set of several safe exercises which can be performed by elderly people at home. These exercises can be found on a dedicated website of the project – fizjoterapiaporusza.pl, in the “Active senior” section. People over 70 years of age are especially vulnerable to dangerous COVID-19 complications, as they usually present with other comorbidities and diminished function of the immune system. We are aware that compulsory staying at home might cause significant limitations in physical activity, which may cause – particularly in older patients – serious and hard-to-reverse consequences for the whole body. Hence the idea to prepare an easily accessible prevention program called “Active senior at home”. This is a set of several safe exercises which will facilitate functioning in this difficult period. These exercises are easy to perform and feasible even for elderly patients. Moreover, they do not require any special equipment – just the access to ordinary household objects, e.g. sofa, chair or windowsill. The latter appears to be particularly important during the epidemic, as seniors often do not have access to sports equipment at home. The exercises were prepared by an expert team comprising physiotherapists who are experienced in working with patients from geriatric, neurological and cardiological wards. The team consisted of: Agnieszka Wójcik PhD (also as a reader in video tutorials), Piotr Czyżewski PhD, Monika Piekarnik MSc, Marta Podhorecka PhD, Anna Pyszora PhD, Marta Sidaway PhD, Prof. Edyta Smolis-Bąk PhD, Agnieszka Stępień PhD, Prof. Aleksandra Truszczyńska-Baszak PhD. Agnieszka Pawlak successfully plays the role of a patient in video tutorials recorded in the KIF office.
The above-mentioned materials are published on a special website fizjoterapiaporusza.pl/active-senior, as well as on YouTube and Facebook profiles of the Ministry of Health. Every day one exercise video will appear on each of these sites, along with expert’s comments and instructions regarding the number of repetitions and recommended tempo. The complete series of several videos will be available to everyone for free. We also call upon younger people to help seniors handle the technological aspects of this initiative, as not all elderly people are familiar with navigating through various internet contents and using social media.
Our campaign has been noticed by media – an interview with the Vice-President of KIF, Zbigniew Wroński, was broadcasted on TVN24 and TVN channels (in the evening edition “Fakty”). The action has also been promoted by PAP, Wprost, TVP and its local branches, Radio Maryja, as well as numerous professional and local media.