|`Pimp My Zimmer’ was a pilot project, inspired by Essex County Council, which aimed to reduce falls after a care home matron noticed people with dementia sometimes find it hard to recognise their own frame.|
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT), along with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT), GPs, and social care services (the multi-partnership group) is supporting the residents of Watford and Three Rivers to stay well and live healthier, happier and more independent lives for longer.
Care home residents at Sunrise Residential Care Home, Chorleywood in Hertfordshire had their Zimmer frames decorated, with help from local schoolchildren from The Russell School in Chorleywood.
Their dull grey walking aids were transformed into works of art by adorning them with bespoke playing cards, football scarves, tinsel and flowers.
Personalising the frames has really helped the residents to feel proud of their Zimmer and want to use them, increasing mobility and reducing the risk of falls and pressure ulcers.
By having easy to recognise frames, older people are less likely to choose the wrong frame which can be dangerous as all frames are adjusted to the user’s height. Having the wrong frame can lead to a much greater risk of falling.
The new look frames are also great for opening up a conversation about the design which can lead to longer conversations about their past. Since its launch, the project has resulted in
· 50% reduction in referrals to HPFT (depression)
• 86% improvement in resident wellbeing validated scores
• 66% increase in zimmer frame usage
• 50% improved mobility, 33% mobility remained constant despite deteriorating health (due to frame usage), 17% stable.
Feedback from the residents at Sunrise Residential Care Home has seen a huge improvement with participants saying they felt “active and vigorous”.