Just thought I’d like to share two schemes that have helped my anxiety and depression over the last few years, since I got my ill-health retirement. They are not specifically for older people but for anyone who is recovering from a physical or mental illness. In my area the GP referred me to them, so maybe you could find out if anything similar is run in your area.
Art on prescription which taught the basic skills needed for drawing, watercolour and acrylic painting. It was a 12 week session for just a small group of people, about 10 in my case. This was great for relieving stress and anxiety and was also a chance to meet other people in non-threatening surroundings. I really enjoyed it and it helped me to start smiling again and get used to going out somewhere, as well as being the foundation for a new hobby.
The PARiS scheme that helps you to feel better through exercise and fitness. I went on this scheme about 2 years ago and found it was very beneficial in building up my physical strength and fitness. Now my GP has referred me again and I went for my first appointment this afternoon to discuss all the options at different fitness centres around the town….gym, walking, swimming, exercise & weight loss classes, cycling, yoga and some very specialised classes for people who have heart problems, chronic back pain or diabetes. All these are available either free or at a reduced rate so are well worth taking up for the 6 months of the scheme. After the 6 months, they have a graduate scheme so that you can still attend some of the sessions at reduced price. I can’t really say I’m looking forward to it, but it’s a case of getting those brain chemicals working and getting fitter!
You do have to be quite a lot better to enter in to any of these schemes, but I hope it will encourage those of you who feel you are starting to improve, to find out what is available in your area. Now, where are those trainers…….?