fbpx Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

June 2022

An insight into David Wilson-Wynne’s role at Balhousie Care Group…

By Care Home, Community No Comments

An insight into David Wilson-Wynne’s role at Balhousie Care Group and his thoughts on what care quality really means…

“I am so glad there are organisations like Oomph! taking a therapeutic approach to care. The care sector has come so far and couldn’t have done it without businesses like Oomph! It is incredible.”

What is your role at Balhousie?

“My name is David, and I am the Quality and Improvement Partner for Balhousie Care Group. We are the largest operator of care homes within the Northeast of Scotland, currently operating at 26 sites, and my core focus is to identify areas of improvement across the portfolio of homes and to align with the Care Inspectorate’s requirements. But also, to look at good practice within our homes and to drive consistency, across every site.”

What does quality mean to you personally and what does quality mean to Balhousie?

“I think for myself quality is all about consistency and how we can ensure that our residents can continue to live a full life.  I think in our sector there is a tendency to focus on what’s negative, particularly in the media. From our point of view, quality is about little golden nuggets every day and our staff – we call them our Everyday Heroes – are essential to maintaining residents’ quality of life. To me that’s what quality encompasses.”

In your opinion, what is the difference between good and outstanding wellbeing in a care home?

“Being good is about always offering alternatives and choice within care practise and being quite specific about what we can do. Outstanding is whereby we can do that while still maintaining an individual’s cultural and social identity, which is absolutely crucial. My background has always been dementia and dementia practise specifically, and I’m in a position now whereby we can look at what is good within our care homes, but how can we always strive to be better, so whether it be, for example, fully utilising the On Demand platform in every home and how we can make everything truly person centred.”

Why do you think Oomph On Demand is a great resource?

“When I was first shown a demo of the whole On Demand platform it was just jaw dropping, because within a very short space of time Oomph! have been able to capture true person-centred content with such breadth and variety. For example, I searched with just the word “horse” and I could not believe the amount of resources that came up utilising one word. If I had had that 15 years ago it would have been absolutely incredible. “

How has Oomph On Demand supported staff wellbeing?

“We’ve all been through a difficult time because of the pandemic, but predominantly for our staff, who have sacrificed so much to ensure that the residents have true consistency, it has been difficult.  Oomph! has provided a different spin on things whereby staff themselves are sitting down with residents and engaging in something which is very positive, brightly coloured, attractive, and engaging. I’ve seen that from myself first-hand which is fantastic for both residents and our staff.”

What in your opinion would you like to see moving forward from the platform, are there any additional features you would like to see?  

“It really is about being as targeted as possible with very specific content to meet the needs of specific conditions and individual residents.”

For more information about Wellbeing Training and Oomph On Demand please contact Oomph here.

The importance of mindfulness to enhance care staff wellbeing…

By Care Home, Community No Comments

The importance of mindfulness to enhance care staff wellbeing…

Context

The last few years have highlighted more than ever the importance of looking after our own mental health and wellbeing. Covid-19 has further highlighted the impact stress, anxiety and neglected mental wellbeing can have.

A recent UNISON survey shows a substantial proportion of care workers have suffered problems during the pandemic including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with more than two thirds (68%) saying their mental health has declined. With stress and anxiety rising in the care sector ways to support these essential workers is crucial. Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way of increasing overall wellbeing.

Mindfulness – the facts

Mindfulness is defined as “Paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non judgmentally” (Kabat- Zann 2003). However, what does this really mean? And how can this help us as individuals? Simply put, Mindfulness exercises are ways of paying attention to the present moment using techniques like meditation, breathing, and yoga. Training helps people to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, they’re better able to manage them.

Research has shown that practicing mindfulness can improve anxiety, stress and the feeling of ‘burn out’ (Chiesa A, Serretti A, 2009) whilst also improving cognitive skills such as improved reaction times, comprehension scores, working memory functioning and decision-making (Zeidan F et al, 2010). Other research suggests that employees who practise mindfulness have less emotional exhaustion, better work-life balance and better job performance ratings. (Hafenbrack et al, 2013). In fact 66% of GPs say that they would support a public information campaign to promote the potential health benefits of Mindfulness meditation (ICM survey, 2019)

With 70 million working days lost each year due to stress and anxiety (mind.org.uk) costing employers between £33-£42 billion a year (Thriving at work report, 2017) it seems vital for organizations to invest in wellbeing support.

By providing mindfulness and wellbeing workshops companies can increase productivity, organizational performance, reduction in staff stress and therefore time off work and increased job satisfaction.

OOMPH and Mindfulness

Oomph Wellness are partnering with Kate Thubron – Mindful care Consultancy to do just this. Launching interactive workshops that provide staff with a ‘mindful toolkit’ on recognizing, addressing and managing the signs of stress, anxiety and poor mental wellbeing whilst also providing on demand services such as exercise classes and relaxation sessions. The toolkit includes techniques in mindful breathing and how to focus on the movement of their breath (whilst being aware) but not engaging in thoughts at that present time. Breathing correctly can have a physical impact on the body to help reduce bp, pulse and respiration rate whilst increasing brain waves to release serotonin.

Staff are taught techniques to help manage modern day stress by using the 4As approach and the Circles of control. Understanding what they can control, what they can influence but also what they are unable to control in a particular situation. Allowing this to be used in 1-1s, supervisions or independently as a reflective practitioner. The GLAD technique is also shared where staff are encouraged to focus on paying attention to certain positive aspects that are around them, but which frequently go unnoticed. Looking at one thing they are grateful for in that day (G), one thing that they learnt (L), an accomplishment(A) ( big or small) and a delight that touched them that day(D).

Staff are given time and the sense of being given the permission that it is okay and in fact it is needed to stop at times to refocus your mind. The mindfulness practice is also shared with those that they care for with mantras, guided imagery, chair based yoga and colour breathing meditation. Providing mindfulness for both care teams and residents.

How organizations can support staff wellbeing

  • Investing in mindfulness and wellbeing programmes for staff
  • Ensure that there are inclusive polices in place to recognise staff’s mental health
  • Enrolling a wellbeing ambassador to show staff that the company commit to supporting them

Conclusion

In essence, providing mindfulness opportunities to staff has several benefits. While it can bring awareness to staffs own mental health needs it has also shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and overall wellbeing. By allowing staff to feel supported this can increase organizational performance, making it a win-win situation for both parties.

For more information about Wellbeing Training and Oomph On Demand please contact Oomph here.

The National Care Forum and Oomph! Wellness renew partnership with a shared ambition to create positive change for older adults

By Care Home, Community No Comments

The National Care Forum and Oomph! Wellness renew partnership with a shared ambition to create positive change for older adults

Oomph! Wellness, the UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults, and the National Care Forum (NCF) are both committed to positively supporting people who live and work in the social care sector to help improve their wellbeing post-pandemic.

In their recent research Age UK aims to measure how older people in the UK are doing. Their research highlights ‘the most striking conclusion from our Index is the importance of maintaining meaningful engagement with the world around you in later life – whether this is through social, creative or physical activity, work, or belonging to some form of a community group.’ https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/policy-research/wellbeing-research/

Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO, NCF said:

“The need for engaging activities tailored specifically for older people is essential to a life well lived, particularly after the pandemic when access to such vital wellbeing resources were limited. Our ongoing partnership with Oomph! Wellness enables our members to access both On Demand resources and engaging exercise and wellbeing training.”

Matt Hamblin, Business Director, Oomph Wellness said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the NCF to drive meaningful engagement across the care sector. Additionally to have the opportunity to connect directly with NCF members and share our thinking and guidance for future innovation and support.”

Oomph On Demand is offered at a discounted rate for all NCF members. It was launched to provide a flexible digital resource that provides activity, exercise and TV content all in one easy to use wellbeing platform. It provides a wide range of resources to support residents, clients, care givers and family members to improve meaningful engagement and overall quality of life.

Content is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Content is created by a combination of Oomph expert instructors as well as trusted partners including History Hit, Instructor Live and Arthritis Action to mention just a few.

For more information about Wellbeing Training and Oomph On Demand please contact Oomph here.