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Oomph! Wellness

Give It Some Welly! New Competition Encourages Care Homes To Get Creative With Nature

By Care Home, Community No Comments

Care homes across the UK will be repurposing everything from old welly boots to the kitchen sink, thanks to a brand new competition designed to make nature both fun and accessible for older adults.

Getting Inspired

Bringing something different and exciting to residents is particularly important for care homes right now. The competition, inspired by Oomph!’s brand new Oomph! Nature 2.0 skills workshop, focuses on one of the key learning areas – creative containers – which encourages homes to use unusual or decorated containers to pot their plants.

The workshop which has inspired the competition not only gives care home teams ideas for recycling household items such as wheelbarrows and jeans as planters, but also shows care home staff how to engage older adults in nature through miniature gardens and through edible plants. The workshop has been created with help from expert partners – such as the Soil Association and Thrive – and covers a range of ideas which can be adapted based on interests, abilities and resources.

Following the workshop, the homes are tasked with not only entering Oomph!’s Creative Container Competition, but also encouraged to get involved in community initiatives, such as the Food for Life Get Together’s Plant and Share month.

Fantastic Feedback

Perfect for Spring, the workshop, where care homes are coming together via video call, is already proving very popular.

One trainee commented, “I have wanted to create indoor gardens but it never crossed my mind how person centred I could make it, so the workshop was a great. It’s easy to learn when it’s fun and gets you engaged!”

How to get involved

The Oomph! Creative Containers Competition is running between the 19th April and the 19th May, and is open to all care homes across the UK, who can enter the competition by submitting photos of their creatively potted plants on social media (tagging Oomph! Wellness) or by emailing them in (to hello@oomph-wellness.org).

The home with the most creative container will win a £50 Amazon gift card, whilst the home with the highest number of likes and shares on social media will get a super funky veg kit so they can grow all sorts of colourful produce.

The Oomph! Nature 2.0 skills workshop is available virtually, for more information, get in touch at hello@oomph-wellness.org

For further information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org, or visit www.oomph-wellness.org/on-demand

Virtual Wellbeing Platform Huge Hit With Care Sector, Benefitting Thousands of Older Adults

By Care Home, Community No Comments

The outbreak of COVID-19 has rapidly changed the dynamic of how we live our lives, meaning many sectors – including the care sector – have been required to adapt. Technology has been an integral part of keeping people connected during the pandemic. And at Oomph!, our On Demand platform has already been a massive hit in care settings across the UK, with over 400 using the new virtual service and more coming on board every day.

We were delighted to release Oomph! On Demand in October 2020 to give some normality back to residents’ lives, and we are now excited to share some of the impact that the platform has been having across the UK…

 Downloads in the thousands

Oomph! On Demand has been rapidly growing since launch and provides a huge variety of fun resources. We have adapted our content to suit varied physical and cognitive abilities, bringing the well-loved Oomph! resources directly to care settings.

And, the proof is in the pudding – so far, users have viewed the site’s exercise videos over 2,000 times, virtual tours over 300 times, downloaded over 1,200 Oomph! newspapers, taken over 2,000 quizzes, and downloaded over 3,500 activity books. We have also seen over 12,000 activity views, with users exploring everything from no-sew sock bunnies and cheat’s pizzas to homemade terrariums and intergenerational letters.

We strive to keep the content up-to-date, diverse and – most importantly – fun, with a huge array of activities and exercises giving staff and residents a wide choice of entertainment.

Bringing Positivity

The pandemic has disrupted all forms of life, but even now, when we cannot see our friends and family, technology brings us ever closer. Just as it is important to keep older adults safe, it is as ever important to make sure that their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing is an absolute priority during these testing times.

The new platform has been widely embraced and these are just some of the great things that staff are saying about Oomph! On Demand…

A member of staff at Forest Healthcare commented, “I am delighted that through Oomph!’s new digital platform, we can provide interactions for wellness of mind, body and soul to our Care Centres.”

A member of staff at New Care said, “I am absolutely buzzing – Oomph! On Demand has come at just the right time! The residents are going to absolutely love it!”

Residents of care homes are loving Oomph! On Demand, keeping active and entertained with the wide variety of resources available to them.

For further information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org, or visit www.oomph-wellness.org/on-demand

HCMS Partners With Oomph! On Demand Platform To Support Wellbeing In Care Homes

By Care Home No Comments

Healthcare Management Solutions (HCMS) has partnered with Oomph! On Demand to enhance the activities offering across all its care homes and inspire the activity teams during the difficult lockdown periods.

The on-demand digital platform incorporates everything from video content tailored to care home residents, to virtual exercise classes, history documentaries and a wealth of resources and training for staff.

The platform can be accessed through activity tablets or interactive tables in the homes for group activities, and residents will also be able to access the content on their own devices or the home’s devices at a time that suits them.

The activity teams across HCMS’ portfolio of 51 homes* have received specialist training to ensure they are able to maximise the potential of the technology.

Lynn Fearn, managing director of Healthcare Management Solutions, said: “This platform is an exciting introduction to our extensive activity plans for our homes, and it helps us to encourage our residents to engage with technology more effectively.

“At a time when inviting people into our homes such as intergenerational groups, dance teachers or entertainers is not possible, these on-demand activities will help in keeping our residents stimulated and active. Our homes are usually a hive of activity so it is important that we look at every way we can to continue to enrich the lives of our residents at this time.”

“We are looking forward to checking in with our staff and residents once they’ve had time to get to grips with the platform so we can find out just how much they’re enjoying it.”

Ben Allen, chief executive of Oomph Wellness, said: “I am delighted that Oomph! will be partnering with HCMS on the launch of our new digital wellbeing platform – Oomph! On Demand. Oomph! On Demand provides a wide range of expertly created wellbeing content all in one easy to navigate platform, and I am so pleased we will be able to offer this resource to care teams and residents at HCMS homes, that will enhance meaningful engagement 7 days a week.”

For further information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org, or visit www.oomph-wellness.org/on-demand

Drone Pilot on board bringing mesmerising footage to digital platform for care providers

By Care Home No Comments

We are delighted to welcome Life In Transit Photography to Oomph! On Demand, with owner, Steven Harrowing, providing stunning virtual tours using his drone and Go-Pro. With extensive experience in videography, we are excited to see the new content on our digital platform, including an absolutely incredible tour of Scotland’s beaches and waterfalls, and a series that tours the Isle of Skye. Let’s find out a bit more about Steven…

I am a Military Veteran having served six and a half years in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. During that time I served on two tours of Afghanistan, two cold weather warfare and survival courses in arctic Norway, jungle warfare and survival training in the depths of Brunei and a stint onboard various naval vessels HMS Bulwark, RFA Lymesbay and RFA Mountsbay.

On leaving the Royal Marines I took my experience to the private sector, conducting anti-piracy protection for commercial vessels in high-risk waters. That was an incredibly interesting job that took me to some seldom seen places all over the world such as Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Sri Lanka and as far as Singapore protecting anything from brand new vehicles, oil and grain and a brand-new drilling ship.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, camping and the outdoors in general. Some of my favourite places in the UK are the Scottish Highlands, The Lake District and the Snowdonia region of Wales.

After being made redundant from my chemical manufacturing job earlier this year, and after going through a period of debilitating depression and anxiety, I decided I wanted to do something that I was fully passionate about again. Something that I had not felt since being a Commando. So, I decided to turn my hobby of photography and video editing into a career.

My videos for my YouTube channel are what got me noticed and now I am happy to say that I am partnered with Oomph! to bring regular entertaining content that I hope the older adults benefiting from the platform can enjoy.

And did I mention, I am also a drone pilot? The drone gives me easy access to more complicated and unique perspectives that you just wouldn’t be able to achieve without a plane, crane or helicopter. I know you’re going to love the footage!

Due to my personal experience with mental health and having a physically disabled father, I can understand why wellness is such an important issue, and it is for that reason why I decided to work with Oomph!. I hope to bring interesting and stimulating videos from unique locations that older adults will enjoy watching and look forward too.

Our journey together starts with a tour of Scotland, but who knows where it will end…

For further information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org, or visit www.oomph-wellness.org/on-demand

Care Home Residents Nicknamed “The Troublemakers” Form Close Bond Thanks To Regular Exercise And Activity Sessions

By Care Home No Comments

We have recently launched Oomph! On Demand, a one-stop-shop for care home activities. Residents across the UK have been enjoying all of the activity and exercise resources available on the site, including residents at Country Court Care homes, one of Oomph!’s key partners. Read on for Rose and Dot’s story, told by the team at Heartlands…

Dot and Rose live in Country Court Care’s Heartlands Nursing Home in Birmingham. They were both feeling lonely and isolated in their respective homes during lockdown and moved to the care home in August and September respectively.

They quickly forged a close bond over their shared passion for regular exercise classes and activities that Heartlands provided, thanks to virtual support from Oomph! in preparation for the launch of the On Demand service. Residents and staff refer to them fondly as ‘The Troublemakers’ in reflection of their joie de vivre! Rose and Dot normally do an exercise class twice a week and a host of musical, cookery and art sessions, quizzes and games.

Heartlands’ staff say that thanks to the virtual support and content from Oomph!, the activities at the home have remained at a high quality in spite of the extra demands and restrictions posed by the pandemic. Without having wellbeing activities curated and produced for them, staff would have struggled to originate a full programme of activities for the home.

For further information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org, or visit www.oomph-wellness.org/on-demand

It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New – Oomph! Partners With Lingo Flamingo To Make Languages Accessible

By Care Home No Comments

Oomph! are excited to be partnering with Lingo Flamingo, an expert language organisation, to provide language activities on our new digital Oomph! On Demand service.

Older adults across the UK have been enjoying the language activities that are available on the platform, which include French and Spanish vocabulary, games and puzzles, with plenty more to come, including a Valentine’s Day themed French Activity Book and quiz.

So, let’s deep dive into Lingo Flamingo and what they’re up to…

“At Lingo Flamingo we believe that it is NEVER too late to learn something new and that Language Learning can be a great activity to tackle isolation, brain aging and to enhance wellbeing and health in seniors. Our mission is to work with carers, activities coordinators, and social care workers to put in place a capability model for their residents and service users through tutored accessible language courses and training for care workers.”

Lingo Flamingo Senior Learners

Lingo Flamingo exists to make language learning interactive and accessible. They do this because they want everyone to experience the joy of learning a second language and to gain from the health benefits of bilingualism.

The central way Lingo Flamingo does this – and the reason they were founded – is through offering unique foreign language classes to older adults and to those living with dementia in care homes, day centres, and community locations across Scotland.

By offering this fun, sensory linguistic experience, their classes have been shown to improve the wellbeing of participants, specifically through building confidence, creating connections between learners, stimulating the mind, and offering something new and exciting. Incredibly, in doing this, participant’s decision making and multi-tasking skills are improved, and their ability to concentrate and communicate is heightened, meaning language learning is an activity unlike anything else on offer.

Why language learning?

Firstly, language learning is unique in its ability to stimulate the mind and keep the brain young and healthy. In fact, research shows that those who can speak a second language tend to develop dementia 4 to 5 years later than those of us who can only speak one. Being bilingual also makes you far more likely to recover from a stroke. These astounding facts mean that speaking a second language has greater benefits than any treatments or pharmaceutical interventions currently developed for brain ageing. It’s for this reason that many are calling for language learning to be considered part of a healthy lifestyle, in much the same way as exercise or a balanced diet.

“The cognitive benefits of directed language learning are evident after just one week!”

Secondly, language learning is a fun way to bring people together to build confidence, experience something new, learn about a different culture, create new connections, and have a laugh. For all the health benefits of language learning, Lingo Flamingo fundamentally still want participants to feel relaxed and to be having a good time. That’s why Lingo Flamingo likes to say language learning is good for the brain and good for the banter. When the learning environment is right that’s when the benefits start to be seen: improved concentration, enhanced communication, heightened multi-tasking ability, and bolstered over-all wellbeing!

Ben Allen, Oomph!’s CEO, comments, “We are delighted to be collaborating with Lingo Flamingo to provide accessible bite-size language activities to care homes, retirement living and sheltered housing schemes up and down the UK! We want to offer the best of the best and, with all the benefits that language learning provides, this is a great opportunity to do so.”

For further information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org, or visit www.oomph-wellness.org/on-demand