High Life Highland Staff Support Healthy Hearts and Minds in Local Communities

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak High Life Highland has remained committed to providing support for over 250 participants already involved in the Charity’s Cardiac Rehab, Parkinson’s and Falls Prevention exercise programmes across the Highlands.

Specialist exercise instructors from High Life Highland are contacting participants registered on their exercise programmes by phone and email to check in and make sure they are keeping well during the crisis period.

The Charity’s specialists are offering advice on how to exercise safely at home, as well as signposting participants to other resources on topics like eating well and reducing risk in their daily lives.

Carol Campbell from Alness, who usually takes part in falls prevention exercise classes in the Averon Centre, said:

“Getting a regular call from HLH is really helping me to keep motivated and doing exercises at home, without this contact it would be easy to get in a rut. 

“Keeping in touch with the group you usually attend gives you a boost and it’s one of the best things.”

The personal touch is a result of the partnership with Parkinson’s UK Scotland and NHS Highland, meaning people affected by cardio vascular disease, Parkinson’s and those at risk of falling having a way to keep active and connected to High Life Highland during what are becoming increasingly challenging times. 

It is now well understood that if people can keep active it can significantly improve functional capacity, fitness and quality of life as well as reducing the risk of ill health, disease recurrence, deterioration of condition, risk of falling and even acute hospital admissions whilst also helping to manage symptoms. 

Keeping connected is important too as some people are finding the current situation difficult, so staying in touch is vital.

Steve Walsh, Chief Executive, High Life Highland, said:

“It is a privilege to be able to support people in Highland to remain active, improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of ill health at this critical moment. 

“We know that moving is good for your body and mind and this work is helping to increase resilience and independence as well as reshape the way that we can provide essential support for people living in the Highlands in the future.”

Niki Russell, NHS Highland Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional Lead said: 

“We have been working with High Life Highland for a number of years to deliver cardiac rehabilitation for patients across the Highland area, the support not only improves people’s ability to manage the health condition but also empowers and enables people who have had a cardiac event to be independent and in control of their own lives – I am really pleased that this important support is continuing during the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Amanda McKay, Parkinson’s Active Project Support Officer said:

“Parkinson’s UK Scotland is currently building the resources to support people with Parkinson’s to keep active during the outbreak.

“High Life Highland has made such a difference to members of our community, and we welcome their input and continued support for people with Parkinson’s across the Highland area at this difficult time.”