Yoga-inspired health and wellness activity for older persons introduced to Macklin Care Homes


IN A FIRST for the care home sector in Northern Ireland, Macklin Care Homes has worked alongside qualified yoga instructor, Julie Brown to develop Yopi – an acronym for yoga-inspired movements for older persons.


Staying true to its values to ‘treat people really well’, the Group decided to embark upon developing new health and wellness activities that would be of benefit to its residents. Gentle exercise combined with yoga-inspired learnings have developed into Yopi, and the nursing homes within the Macklin Care Home Group have now received CPD training in delivering Yopi within their respective homes.


Director of Macklin Care Homes, Gareth Macklin, explains: “Our mission is to continue to be a forward-thinking provider who looks after people extremely well, and when planning for new activities to introduce into our homes in 2018, we decided to create something new for the sector.


“Yoga has been long-recognised for its benefits, which include improved muscle strength and vitality therefore we chose to work on the principles of yoga to develop a new wellness activity that would be of real benefit to our residents. Working with yoga instructor, Julie Brown, the Yopi programme is suitable for many of our residents and caters for a wide range of mobility levels.”


Julie Brown has been teaching yoga and mindfulness classes to community groups, organisations and employers for the last seven years. Julie developed the Yopi course and trained each of the activity co-ordinators from the Macklin Care Homes on structuring sessions, getting to know the body and delivering the Yopi course.


Julie adds: “Over the years, I have seen time and time again, the benefits of gentle exercise to older persons. In developing this new initiative for Macklin Care Homes, I used my learnings from my experience of working in the community and combined it with gentle Yoga-inspired movements to create Yopi – a bespoke wellness programme that’s already been enthusiastically welcomed by many residents!


“From helping older persons to improve their wellness and mobility, to creating a stimulating activity that residents look forward to every week, Yopi complements the existing activities plan that happens in each of the Macklin Care Homes every week day.”


With over 350 residents across its six care homes –  Ratheane Care Home, Coleraine; Park Manor, Dunmurry; Arlington, Belfast; Our Lady’s Care Home, Belfast; Milesian Manor, Magherafelt and Leabank in Ballycastle –  Yopi has already become a firm favourite with residents and is being delivered in all six homes on a weekly basis.


Evelyn Joyce, Activities Coordinator in Ratheane Nursing Home, Coleraine adds: “Introducing new activities to our residents is always met with enthusiasm however the introduction of Yopi was particularly unique as many of our residents have heard about Yoga but never experienced it or thought that they would.


“Our Yopi course has been developed with residents in-mind therefore most of our residents are able to partake, and for others, they enjoy being part of the activity, and watching their fellow residents follow the yoga-inspired movements.”


Macklin Care Homes has been caring for people for over 30 years. The vision of Macklin Care Homes is to make a difference to people’s lives by providing first class care. Residents and their families are at the heart of everything that the Group does, and Macklin Care Homes are central to the communities in which they serve.