Monthly Archives

March 2020

FREE fun and simple at-home exercise programmes for the over 60s

By | Care Home, Community

Now that the UK is on lockdown due to the global Covid-19 outbreak, wellbeing is even more important than ever, to ensure that we remain stimulated mentally, physically and emotionally.

It can be difficult to know where to start with exercising at home, so we have developed some simple and easy-to-follow weekly exercise programmes for the over 60s.

We will be adding further, progressive, stages as time goes on – watch this space! These programmes can be viewed below, or downloaded and printed to follow at home.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you have any pain or discomfort, please do not to take part. If you are new to exercising, or have not done so in a while, please make sure you start off with small movements and progress to bigger and more difficult movements over time. 

 

WEEK ONE EXERCISE PROGRAMME

Stretch and Flex – Repeat this section twice

Strength Movements Repeat this section twice

Coordination Movements

Oomph! Nature Series: Taking Cuttings

By | Care Home

During unprecedented times and at a time when the care sector is being affected enormously by the current Coronavirus situation, resident wellbeing is even more important than ever.  As part of this Oomph! are keen to support care homes with stimulating and varied content for resident engagement. We will be releasing resources based on our Oomph! skills workshops, starting with a digital Oomph! Nature mini-series. These resources, and more, will be uploaded to our Wellbeing Resources Hub.

The second topic in our Nature mini-series is: Cuttings.

Seeds aren’t the only way to grow plants. Basic propagation methods, such as cuttings, work well for most. Cuttings are bits of plants that are chopped off, then rooted in a growing medium (such as potting mix).

1. Source and cut.

  • Get a bag of mint, or a mint plant, from a supermarket.
  • Take individual stems of mint, and strip lower leaves off, leaving the top 3-4 leaves on the stem.
  • Cut across the bottom of the stem (just below where a leaf was attached to the stem)
  • Place cut stems in glass or vase of water –ensuring the top leaves are above the waterline

2. Water and pot.

  • Change water once per week and leave in a sunny place
  • Once the mint stems have developed roots (this will take a couple of weeks), put in a pot and the add a bagged and sterilised general potting compost.

This activity can be done with many herbs and could support residents to develop their own indoor herb garden, leading to a great sense of achievement.

Adaptations.

Break the activity down to the senses to ensure that it is inclusive to all…

  • Smell – smell the different herbs to encourage and evoke memories. Herb bags could be created to support this.
  • Taste – taste the herbs with different foods, for example add to butter or sprinkle on chips.
  • Visual – create a herb tree in the garden focusing on different shapes.
  • Touch – wrap & tie the herbs in string to support residents to hold and touch.

You can download the PDF of this resource here.

You can view all of our Oomph! Skills Workshops bitesize resources here. 

Oomph! Nature Series: 5 Steps To Mental Wellbeing

By | Care Home

During unprecedented times and at a time when the care sector is being affected enormously by the current Coronavirus situation, resident wellbeing is even more important than ever, to ensure that they remain stimulated mentally, physically and emotionally.

As part of this Oomph! are keen to support care homes across the UK with stimulating, fresh and varied content to ensure that residents are engaged during this time when they might be feeling disconnected from their friends, families and the outside world.

We will be releasing resources based on our Oomph! skills workshops, starting with a digital Oomph! Nature mini-series. These will cover a variety of topics, providing fresh and engaging activity ideas and top tips. These resources, and more, will be uploaded to our Wellbeing Resources Hub.

We want to support the sector in every way we can – if you have any questions, or have any suggestions for ongoing content, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Vista M Kelly “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” 

Connect.

In small groups encourage residents to tell stories about their lives outdoors. A trip to the beach? An exotic holiday? A forest adventure? Or a simple story about being in their garden?

Keep Learning.

Source some nature themed poetry and read it with residents. Find out about the author and some interesting facts. For example, John Keats ‘To Autumn.’

Be Active.

Source some house plants and replant them in pots that residents can personalise. The plants can then go in their rooms. Or offer residents a hand massage by the window looking out to the garden.

Give to others.

Buy some flowers and separate them individually. Tie a ribbon around each flower and make a bow. Attach a card with a positive message, or write something kind. Hand out to residents in the home.

Be Mindful.

Why not take something from the garden and ask residents to describe what they see? For example, with a flower you could focus on the different colours, textures and shapes. Residents could draw what they see or write it down.

Play some nature themed sounds, for example birds singing, the sounds of the ocean or forest. Encourage residents to do breathing exercises while listening to the music. This could be simply breathing in for 2, holding for 2 and exhaling for 2.

 

You can download the PDF of this resource here.

You can view all of our Oomph! Skills Workshops bitesize resources here. 

Top tips for engaging care home residents to maintain a healthy diet

By | Care Home

It’s National Nutrition and Hydration Week this week, so our Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Georgie, provides some top tips on how you can use food and drink to engage residents…

It’s easy to forget how important good hydration and nutrition are – particularly for those who live in care homes. Yet it is an essential part of our health and quality of life, no matter our age – a balanced diet helps to give our body the right nutrients and energy it needs to function, reducing our risk of developing chronic health conditions and helping us fight colds and infections.

Dehydration can have significant consequences for residents; therefore, good hydration can help prevent Urinary Tract Infections, which often lead to confusion and other complications. It can be more difficult for residents to recognise when they are thirsty, and often harder for them to physically get a drink for themselves.

So, here are Georgie’s Top 10 tips on how to use food and drink activities to engage residents to stay hydrated and eat healthily whilst living in their care home…

 

Tickle the taste buds.

Giving residents the opportunity to try new, healthy food options will provide stimulation. A taste testing is great for this, with residents voting on which they prefer – the results could inform future menu choices for the kitchen team. Or, to bring a new dimension to baking, try using fruit and vegetables in muffins, cakes or tray bakes – try carrot cake, courgette muffins or chocolate beetroot brownies. Residents may be interested in guessing the flavour following a blind taste test.

Tasty talks.

Chatting and reminiscing about food can be a great, quick and easy way to get stomachs rumbling. Chat in a group, or one-to-one, about favourite recipes, recipes that residents have enjoyed throughout their lives, or maybe different recipes from their culture. You can have baking and tasting sessions in the following weeks to try some of these out, and create a cookbook for your home.

Increase availability.

By having food and drink available throughout the day, this will encourage residents to increase their consumption – after all, most people enjoy a snack or two (or three!) over and above their meals. Working with the kitchen team to make healthy snacks available will encourage residents to eat outside of mealtimes. Having Hydration Stations around the home can help to encourage residents to drink more.

Adapt to resident preferences.

By enabling food activities offered to be tailored to each resident, this will make options more appealing – for example, you can jazz up the end of your week up by creating Fruit Kebabs with residents, with each resident selecting their favourite fruits to go on the kebab.

Fit and functional.

Being active and eating fibre rich foods can help with constipation – some residents may be reluctant to eat due to concerns about this. Incorporating regular active sessions, with healthy snacks and fluids in the middle, will aid the digestion process.

Hydration beyond water.

Not all residents will enjoy drinking plain water, so you can be creative in providing foods and other drinks with a high fluid content. By making jelly in small sweet size moulds, residents may be more inclined to try these jelly sweets, as they don’t always associate jelly with fluid intake. Equally, lollies in various flavours can not only hydrate, but also provide great reminisce for residents – why not freeze some milk and put a lollypop stick in the milk before it freezes, just like residents may have had when they were younger. See if anyone can remember having cold milk in a glass bottle at School!

Variety is the spice of life.

Mixing up the liquids on offer can help increase residents’ hydration levels in a different and exciting way. How about iced decaffeinated coffees, iced decaffeinated teas, flavoured teas or flavoured hot chocolates? Adding fresh fruit to water gives flavour and colour, which is great for residents that may be reluctant to drink plain water.

Involve and engage.

Encourage residents to come up with different types of smoothies, make these at your home with fruit and vegetables, or buy a variety of different smoothies and ask residents to have a try. This can be great to keep residents hydrated after an exercise session, plus you can make a competition to name the smoothies. Or, try making some fizzy drinks with different flavours, such as strawberry or raspberry, for a great sensory experience for residents.

Keep it accessible.

Carrying a water bottle around with you throughout your day not only keeps you hydrated, but reminds residents to drink when they see someone else drinking. You may need to get water bottles with long bendy straws for some residents, especially those being nursed in bed, so that these are easily accessible.

Warm it up.

Try heating up drinks that would usually be consumed cold, such as milk, as some residents may prefer their drinks warm. You could also provide a warm cup of soup, this can be a great way for residents to hydrate, as this is often seen as food and not a liquid intake.

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