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Local legend Matt Le Tissier visits elderly wards

Saints legend Matt Le Tissier visited the Medicine for Older People (MOP) department this week at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) to join in a therapy exercise class held in the newly refurbished communal area part-funded by Southampton Hospital Charity (SHC), and designed to encourage health and wellbeing through exercise and movement for older people. 

Saints Foundation’s Generation Gains project, supported by Zurich Community Trust, is programmed to specifically work with older people over the age of 65 and has three key focuses: a core stability exercise programme that reduces the risk of falls in older people, reminiscence groups that use football and sport as a vehicle to tackle early signs of dementia, and an activity programme that offers a wide variety of social and physical activities. 
Advanced Physiotherapist in Medicine for Older People at UHS, Hannah Wood commented “It is suggested that ten days in a hospital bed can lead to approximately 10% loss of muscle mass in people over the age of 80, so you can see how important it is for older people to keep moving during a stay in hospital. Here at UHS we want our patients to feel empowered and help prepare them for going home by offering a diverse range of mental, physical, emotional and social support programmes, so an initiative like Generation Gains is great for enhancing the support we already offer patients.” 
Speaking on behalf of Saints Foundation, Le Tissier said “As a Saints Foundation Ambassador, I’m proud to see the work we are doing alongside Southampton Hospital Charity. Both initiatives really help to transform lives across the city and I’m really happy to lend my support.”
Saints Foundation and Southampton Hospital Charity are aiming to raise £20,000 to support the work of the charities with older adults and will be hosting a Golf Day on 26th September 2019. To find out more information and to enter a team, click here
This week also saw the officially opening of the MOP activity hub which was opened by ex-Saints Football Club legend Mike Earls. The space allows elderly patients to take part in exercise classes, games and puzzle sessions to keep their brains active, movie nights, and so much more.

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