Exercise For All
Did you know that men and women with a learning disability in the UK live on average 14 and 18 years less than those without a learning disability. That’s a shocking statistic. A person with a learning disability is also more likely to suffer with physical or mental health problems. Often barriers to healthcare services contribute to this but its not the only problem. Poor service design in areas such as transport, education and skills training all contribute to this health inequality.
A lack of access and inclusion when it comes to exercise and physical activity is also a problem. It’s for this reason that one of the key objectives that Blundellsands and Crosby Physio has set itself is to make services as accessible for people with a learning difficulty as possible. We truly believe that a healthy lifestyle with exercise and physical activity at its core is vital for everyone. Having ready access to physiotherapy treatment and advice when injured or in pain is just one small part of that.
Playing Our Part
So what can a physiotherapy practice do? Well, we want to start by getting the basics right. For example taking extra time to facilitate communication for treatment and care in the clinic, making sure support workers and carer’s feel welcome at appointments and taking onboard the feedback to help us build care around additional needs. We can offer physio supported exercise programs in the gym in Crosby Leisure Centre, helping to build confidence and independence when exercising in that space. It’s a work in progress and we want to learn and progress in this specialist area of care.
Learning Disability Education for Therapists
The first step on this road is therapist education. Clinic Physio Ben Watkins has arranged for a Learning Disability Specialist Physiotherapist Alistair Beverley @theLDphysio to teach a course in Liverpool on the 12th Feb 2022 via physiotherapy course provider My Therapy Network. This will be open for physios and other health care providers working in clinics who want to improve their care for those with a learning disability. The course will teach communication skills, legal responsibilities, clinical skills in Learning Disability Physio and discuss case studies for improving practice and clinic set up.
Interview with Learning Disability Specialist Physio
In preparation for the course Ben spoke with Alistair to find out more about his work and experiences. You can watch this video below via YouTube. If you are a member of the local community living with a learning disability please get in touch. We would love to speak with you about how we can improve our service at the clinic going forward and ensure exercise & physio is truly for ALL!