Monday, 2 April 2012

Exercise Classes for the IHC

Exercise for the Intellectually disabled.

During my 2nd field work experience I worked for IDEA Services, being a day centre for Physically and Mentally Handicapped adults.  They did a variety of activities during their scheduled day and I found that through my observation, the clients seemed to get huge satisfaction out of exercise activities.
I chose exercise as my topic to relate back to my blog of participation as there are so many added benefits to exercise besides the actual "doing".
When looking at exercise the fact that we are doing an activity that we enjoy and have fun while doing it bring us into a state of "being and becoming"  the way we feel while participating is a reflection of who we are, we are being ourselves and enjoying the  task by means of knowing it is rewarding to us.  Through exercise there are many benefits - health and mind.  The variety of activities that were offered to the IDEA group gave each member the chance to develop their different areas of strengths and interests.  Everyone is different  and it was very surprising how each person changes or came into "being" when they participated in the activity that brings out their talents and interests.
The following activities are all carried out in different environments and this is particularly enriching for the clients of IDEA .  Stepping out of their usual environment, where there are many limitations for variety and independent contact with the local community is difficult due their impairment.  It is an opportunity for them as a group to feel the same as everyone else and a sense of belonging to that particular communiting and environment seems to develop.
The following are five links of different activities that my group of clients participated in.  The links are not the same location and different ages groups are viewed but it will give you a good insight as to how the  activities were carried out in the different scenarios.

Horse riding:

Horse riding provides clients the opportunity to take care and touch a huge animal, which in itself is very healing.  To ride on horse back gives them the freedom, for a short time,  to not feel the constraints of their
impairment.  It provides a sense of achievement - riding a horse involves a certain amount of concentration and co-ordination.  there is a  particular sense of excitement.  The environment is completely different  to usual places so this can be greatly stimulating to all their senses.

The Music club:

The music activities ranged from dancing,  playing instruments and singing.  As a group it was an opportunity for everyone, including staff, to join in.  There was a great deal of fun belonging to a group that created  whatever happened.  There was no structure or pressure to achieve anything.  Clients and staff participated by "being" who they were and enjoying the moment.  Music group produced many great dancers and alot of laughs.  To feel comfortable to be yourself through this type of expression has great psychological benefits and physical benefits.

Walking group:

Walking was always enjoyed.  It gave the clients of opportunity to be one on one with a staff member, the opportunity to talk together with no other interruptions or as a small group enjoying the moment.  The chance for them to step outside their small localised environment into the local community and see the day to day activity of what was happening in their immediate surrounds was stimulating for them.  The health benefits were attained easily by way of walking for weight management and easy exercise for the muscles and bones.
Social aspect was non-demanding and it was relaxing to spend time together in this way.

Dance class:

Dance class has all the benefits of walking and music all put into one!

Aqua jogging:

Aqua jogging provided challenge and stimulation.  The pool environment gave the client a chance to step outside their comfort zone, build confidence and self esteem.  Movement within the water gave them physical
freedom to different extents and a great feeling of belong as a group.  They looked to each other for encouragement, support and celebrated in their fun together.  Great bonding between clients and staff were being established due to the exceptional environment of the pool.