Movement for good at Grove House

Ruth McGuiness runs the Grove House Movement class virtually in lockdown.

Ruth McGuiness runs the Grove House Movement class virtually in lockdown. - Credit: Rennie Grove

Rennie Grove’s physiotherapists have responded to extended periods of lockdown and the need to keep vulnerable patients safe by offering online movement groups.  

Specialist physiotherapist, Ruth McGuiness, usually based at Grove House in St Albans, has transferred her specialist and tailored sessions online to ensure that patients get the support they need to keep as healthy and active as possible in the safety of their own homes.  

Prior to the pandemic, ‘Movement’, a weekly exercise and wellbeing class took place at Grove House with group members performing circuits of exercises to build strength and mobility. When the class was no longer able to take place, Ruth knew that the support needed to continue.

“Many members of our group live alone, and have never engaged formally with exercise, so we knew the class was important for their physical health,” explained Ruth.

“But we also recognised that the opportunity at the end of the class to sit and have refreshments, was vital peer support. Sharing their experiences with others in similar situations really helped them to realise they aren’t alone.  

“When the class stopped, we knew that finding a way to bring it to them at home would be a lifeline for them, physically and mentally.” 

In addition to adapting the class so that patients could perform the circuits easily at home, Ruth and her physiotherapist Kristina Muldoon have also been helping some group members to learn how to use video chat so they could take part.  

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Winter weather combined with lockdown have meant that many in this group have scarcely left their homes.

Ruth said: “Isolation can be really damaging to health overall, but we’ve seen that performing simple exercises alongside people who are also feeling lonely can make a huge difference.

"We’ve received wonderful feedback from the group; most of them are thrilled to be able to get moving around, but the opportunity to spend time together makes all the difference. It brings excitement, laughter and positivity to their day, and it’s a great feeling to be a part of that.” 

To find out more about the services Rennie Grove offers at Grove House, visit www.renniegrove.org

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