Care to Move – home carers prompting movement in older people at home

Lead researcher: Professor Frances Horgan, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences

The problem:

As people age, they want to live at home, but falls and increasing frailty can make this more difficult to do. Being more active through moving more can help to prevent falls and address frailty, but people may not have the routine or confidence to move enough in the home.


The project:

Researchers at RCSI and the HSE in collaboration with a not-for-profit home care agency (North Dublin Home Care) tested the feasibility in Ireland of the Care to Move (CTM) programme developed by Later Life Training UK, which trains home care staff to use consistent prompts to build frequent movement into older people’s lives at home. 


The outcomes:

  • We now know that embedding the Care to Move programme in home settings in Ireland is feasible.
  • More than 70 home care staff were trained to deliver movement prompts to older people living at home and 35 home care clients participated in the study for up to six months.
  • The implementation cost was estimated at €280 per carer and annual running costs at €75 per carer.
  • Home care clients in the feasibility study – average age in their early 80s – saw improvements in their quality of life, physical function, balance confidence and self-efficacy, and home care managers were supportive of the roll-out of CTM.
  • Webinars and follow-ups with healthcare professionals about the programme reached more than 200 people.
  • The study can inform a larger trial of Care to Move in the Irish home care setting.

Dr Austin Warters, Manager of Services for Older People, HSE, says:

“Thanks to the findings of this study we now know more about the practicalities and potential benefits of implementing the Care to Move programme in Ireland.”

Professor Frances Horgan, Professor of Physiotherapy, RCSI, says:

“Home care staff play a vital role in the ongoing health of older people living in their homes. Through the study, we showed that home care staff and physiotherapists could work with individual clients in Ireland on the movement prompts that would encourage them to move more frequently in their homes.”

Vanda Cummins, Senior Physiotherapist, HSE, says:

“People could really see the value of meaningful conversations and movement prompts at each visit – whether to build their confidence going up and down stairs, to stand up more easily from a chair, or to get out to greet their grandkids at the school gate.”

Care to Move – home carers prompting movement in older people at home is part of a wider collection of success stories across four themes from this year's annual Health Research in Action.

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