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Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Sensory Series: The Psychology of Colours

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. These resources, and more, will be uploaded to our Wellbeing Resources Hub.

The second topic in our Sensory mini-series is: The Psychology of Colours

Colour psychology is the study of the effect that colours have on the moods, behaviours and feelings of people. Jack, our Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, tells us more…

 

Blue

Blue can help individuals feel calmer and supports with rest. Therefore, blue is used in bedrooms and quiet areas. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Blue is mentally calming & it is the colour of clear communication. Blues make a room feel bigger & blue objects do not appear to be as close to us as red ones.

Green

This is the colour of earth and is associated with growth and life. Green is thought to reduce activity in the central nervous system and help people feel calmer. When the world about us contains plenty of green, this indicates the presence of water, and little danger of famine, so we are reassured by green, on a primitive level. Green is  the colour of balance as it is at the centre of the spectrum. It is the combination of yellow and blue, therefore it is both calming and optimistic.

Yellow

Yellow is the strongest colour psychologically because it is the colour of the mind & intellect.  It is the colour of confidence, and the right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem. Yellow is a key stimulating colour, and is used in activity areas to increase brainwave activity. Stimulating colours are good for those living with Alzheimer’s as the can trigger memories and cognitive function

Red

The colour red affects us physically, therefore stimulating us and raising our pulse rates. Red can give people the impression that time is passing faster. It relates to the masculine principle and can activate the “fight or flight” instinct. Red also stimulates brain wave activity and the production of adrenaline. This warm colour has the opposite effect to blue, making a room feel smaller. It is often used for rooms that are cool in temperature.

 

Why not use the below colours in your activities to achieve a desired outcome or response? For example, if you are focusing on relaxion with a resident, you may choose cooler colours. You could also use the colours creatively within your planners, posters or newsletters to achieve a greater impact.

20 Ways To Look After Care Home Residents’ Wellbeing During Lockdown

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 to our Wellbeing Resources Hub over coming weeks. 

At the moment, a focus on resident wellbeing is vital, to combat feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, restlessness and disconnection. Our Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Jade, explores 20 ways of improving resident wellbeing whilst the UK is on Covid-19 lockdown…

 

Connect with other people.

In a time where residents are unable to have external visitors, or leave the care home to go on trips to local destinations, it is more important than ever for residents to connect with other people. This builds relationships, which is vital for mental wellbeing.

It can create a sense of belonging and worth, give you and others an opportunity to share experiences and provide emotional support. Things you can do:

Support positive mealtime experiences. This may be the only time residents are socialising, and it may be with a carer if they are isolating in their room. Playing personalised music or media could prompt organic conversations between residents or residents and carers – use this template to gather a resident’s Top 10 hits.

Make the most of all 1:1 visits. Keyworkers can support this initiative – perhaps a list of quick, simple activities could be provided in rooms based on each resident’s life story to promote engagement. These could be as simple as some quiz questions or relevant discussion prompts.

Implement initiatives such as ‘laughter yoga’. A fun and simple way to connect with others, whilst also giving an abdominal workout AND improving your mental health! Learn more and try it out here. 

Utilise technology. During this time, residents may really miss their loved ones. Video calling in particular has the advantage of allowing us to see others’ facial expressions and body language. Consider writing some discussion prompts beforehand – ideally person centered – to help facilitate conversation.

Create a Virtual Lounge. You could open up slots for family members or friends to book to speak with their relatives via platforms such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and Whatsapp. How about creating a virtual visiting lounge where residents can take it in turns to use a room to catch up with their loved ones?

Create virtual events. Instead of cancelling your usual clubs and events, try hosting them online instead. This can bring together friends, family and community contacts. How about a quiz or a sing-along (Care Home karaoke!)?

Post it. Ask residents to write postcards, either to send to other care homes, residents’ friends, families or the local nursery or school. Here is a template we have put together to use.

 

Give to others.

Acts of giving and kindness can improve your mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings and a sense of reward, providing a feeling of purpose and self-worth and helpings to connect with others. Things you can try:

Giving praise. To someone for something they have done for you or others. See if any residents have any praise for the team members who have been working extra hard at the moment, make a note and share (if they are happy for you to do so of course!).

Listen. Asking someone how they are and show that you are really listening to their response. For residents who are isolating in their rooms – is there anything they would like to engage with, such as puzzles, poetry or some calming adult colouring? How could this be themed to their interests?

Deliver ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ throughout the home. This could include baking treats for someone in the home, bringing in a resident’s favourite food or newspaper, donating flowers for the residents, and making care packages together for the vulnerable in your community. How about writing positive letters to other care homes, or a local nursery?

Learn New Skills.

Learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing by raising self esteem, creating a sense of purpose and achievement and helping to connect with others. Things you can do:

The kitchen team could host cooking demonstrations. Teaching individuals new culinary skills! These could be filmed and streamed for any residents who are isolating. Or, perhaps you could use YouTube to find demonstrations from residents’ favourite celebrity chefs – we’ve found Jamie Oliver, and Nigella Lawson.

Learn a new skill together. Perhaps knitting, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting, computer skills, vlogging, learning a new language or pottery. YouTube will be a great help here!

TED talks are a great way of learning. You could set up a weekly TED talks club, based on ideas from staff and residents, streaming the chosen TED talk 1:1 with each resident. Check out the videos here. 

Utilise hobbies, skills and talent from the wider team. Staff could run virtual how-to sessions for residents based on their interests – such as sewing, flower arranging and even gaming! You can start virtual clubs that meet regularly – for example, a cross-stitch club or a book club.

 

Be physically active.

Being active is not only great for fitness, but evidence shows it is also great for mental wellbeing. It can improve self esteem, help individuals achieve goals and release endorphins that can help to positively change your mood. Things you can do:

Follow exercise programmes. Find exercise plans for residents to follow independently or 1:1 if appropriate – we have released 5 FREE programmes here

Implement some physical activity games, to be done 1:1. These could include ring toss, balloon games, target practice or skittles. Ensure you follow your organisation’s guidelines for this in the current climate.

Start a sports club or championship. You could start with slipper soccer, seeing how many goals a resident can score in 2 minutes. This can easily be implemented through a series of 1:1s with residents who are isolating. We have created an Oomph!-lympics Leaderboard template for your very own Olympic Games!

Set achievable daily goals and highlight achievements. This can be done as part of your Resident of the Day initiative! The wider team at the home can help residents achieve goals during daily care duties.

 

Pay attention to the present moment.

Focusing more on the present can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts, feelings and body. This type of awareness is called ‘Mindfulness’, and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Things you can try:

Guided Meditation. Taking your residents on a visual journey can help them to forget their troubles and focus on the now.

Breathing exercises. These can decrease stress and relax the mind and body, and help residents to sleep better. Try out box breathing using these instructions. 

 

You can view all of our Wellbeing resources here. 

Oomph! Sensory Series: Experiencing the World

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. These resources, and more, will be uploaded to our Wellbeing Resources Hub.

The first topic in our Sensory mini-series is: Experiencing the World through the senses. 

Engaging different senses will enable you to person center activities to different needs, abilities and preferences. You can discover what residents like, stimulate their minds and prompt reminiscence and discussion. Here are the five senses, what these mean and how you can engage residents with each.

Sight (Visual Stimulation)

The eyes are the organ of sight. Vision is perhaps our most important sense, the one through which we gain most of our information.

Try experimenting with lighting – how about some gentle lighting to relax? Use reminiscent images & photos to spark discussion, try the BBC Rewind website here. See how residents respond to use of colours, and shiny or reflective materials. How can you use windows or create some wall art together – you could create garlands together to brighten up spaces.

Sound (Auditory Stimulation)

Our ears provides us with our second most vibrant source of sensory stimulation.

Use nature sounds, these can be used to relax or to provoke discussion – such as rainfall, birds, the ocean, or how about this forest sounds track? How about reading poetry with residents, or reading books and articles together? See how you can use music, for example, singing and musical instruments. There is a useful guide for using music for people living with dementia here.

Taste (Gustatory Stimulation)

Nerve endings on our tongue allow us to taste what is in our mouths. In many ways taste is the most pleasurable of our senses.

Use a variety of spices & flavourings, explore warm and cold foods or try out different flavour combinations, such as sweet & sour, sugar & spice. For wine connoisseurs, try hosting a wine tasting. What about finding out a favourite meal or treat?

Touch (Tactile Stimulation)

Touch receptors are located in our skin, but in many other parts of our body as well. Anything touched and anything that touches us can be stimulating. Every solid object has texture, temperature and shape.

How does someone enjoy different textures of blankets & pillows? What about the feel of sponges, squeezy balls, animals or stuffed toys? You could create themed tactile boxes to prompt stimulation, memories and discussion.

Smell (Olfactory Stimulation)

Receptors in our nose provide us with a sense of smell. Some of our strongest memories, our most potent associations, are triggered by odour.

Try using a variety of diffusers & essential oils. Does someone enjoy the smell of fresh flowers – which is their favourite? How about the smell of herbs, twigs and leaves, and the memories that these evoke. The smell of freshly baked bread or coffee, a favourite perfume or cologne, pot pourri. Explore different soaps and hand lotions.

 

Photo: Karuna Manor, TLC Care

Oomph! Nature Series: Mind, Body and Soul

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:

Mind, Body and Soul. We’ve suggested 30 ways to improve resident wellbeing through nature. 

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein.

Mind

Body

  • Nature box – residents have to feel objects in a box which are nature related and guess what they are
  • Create a nature collage – go out into the garden to find items
  • Do some breathing exercises with nature sounds, here are some exercises to get you started
  • Play catch outdoors
  • Make a bird box – some instructions here 
  • Have a hand massage in the garden
  • Sow some seeds
  • Nature themed Oomph! Session
  • Go for a garden walk
  • Sweep the garden
  • Try out some of the RSPB nature activities here

Soul

  • Keep a nature journal. This could be a daily journal and include what residents can see in the garden
  • Nature jokes… What did the big flower say to the small flower? What’s up bud!
  • Bird watching – here is a bird watching guide and a bird identifier  to get you started
  • Nature Poetry. Here are 7 famous nature poems to read together, or try writing your own. These could be included in the newsletter
  • Read positive quotes which relate to the outdoors… “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished”. Here are 45 nature quotes to read and discuss
  • Learn and discover what flowers do
  • Watch nature documentaries – like the Blue Planet II
  • Watch residents’ favourite gardening TV show
  • Listen to the sounds of the beach, the forest or birds singing

Oomph! Nature Series: A Game To Explore The Senses

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: Nature and the senses.

This fun game uses Nature to stimulate each sense.

1. What will you will need.

  • A dice
  • A bag
  • Small containers to add the ingredients
  • Ingredients relating to nature, for example cocoa, coffee beans, tea, cumin powder etc

2. The object of the game.

  • Gather some nature inspired ingredients, for example cocoa, curry powder, cumin, coffee beans or garlic powder. Place these in containers into a bag
  • Ask residents to get into pairs and number themselves 1 & 2. Then ask number 1 to close their eyes and give number 2 one of the containers from the bag.
  • The group leader then rolls the dice to reveal a number, the number will correlate to one of the questions below for example, how does it smell? Number 1, with their eyes closed, will then answer the question with the support of number 2. Keep going until number 1 can guess what the ingredient is.
  • Repeat the process with number 1 & 2 swapping roles.

3. Questions.

If you roll a:

1 how does it feel?

2 how does it look?

3 how does it smell?

4 – how might it taste? (but don’t eat it!)

5 – how does it sound?

Roll a 6 and anything goes! (you can choose 1 or 2 from the list above)

 

You can download the PDF of this resource here.

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

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.

Concorde wish comes true for care home resident

By Out and about

We were recently delighted to take a group of residents from Camberley Manor, TLC Care, on a very special trip to Brooklands Museum. Greg, the Hotel Services Manager at Camberley Manor, tells the story…

“The last of our Christmas Wishing Tree wishes we could make true happened – some of our residents wanted a meal with their family, some wanted a bottle of their favourite alcoholic indulgence… but Gordon wanted to go on Concorde.

With the help of Oomph!, Jose and myself had the privilege of taking Gordon on board the Concorde. Gordon mainly uses a wheelchair, however, once on site Gordon did not want to use the chair – he said to us, ‘I am going to walk up the stairs and walk on Concorde’. Gordon achieved this.

To me, this emphasises what TLC, Oomph! and Wellbeing are all about… working together to make it happen. However, it was Gordon who was mentally and physically stimulated to achieve something – not only walking up the stairs, but also to fulfill a dream. Our One Team approach provided a dream, how brilliant!”

 

To find out how you can get out and about with Oomph!, contact us here or call 0203 601 6363