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Care Home

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

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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

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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

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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

Oomph! and Majesticare form ‘On Demand’ Wellbeing Partnership

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Oomph! is partnering with Majesticare, one of the UK’s leading luxury Care Groups, to engage residents and staff from 5 of their homes in a holistic world of wellbeing.

Majesticare have signed up to the new Oomph! On Demand platform, which will provide engaging exercise and activity content 365 days a year, across a diverse range of topics and meeting a range of interests and abilities.

Oomph! On Demand will be streamed into all participating care homes as part of our mission to enhance the minds, bodies and souls of care home residents, particularly during lockdown.

The 5 Majesticare homes will have access to the whole platform, which includes:

  • Sports sessions such as slipper soccer and seated volleyball, designed with national sports bodies including Volleyball England, Boccia England and the English Cricket Board
  • Exercise activities adapted for different health conditions with experts from Arthritis Action and the University of Exeter
  • Language lessons with Lingo Flamingo, an expert organisation who make language learning accessible for all and improve the lives of those living with dementia
  • A newly commissioned comedy performance about Henry VIII
  • Singalongs, music therapy sessions, drama workshops, virtual tours of stunning landscapes, cookery inspiration and how-to craft activities

Our specialist wellbeing instructors have played a key role in the creation of content and are adding many new activities each week. Care home staff and residents will be able to select activities according to their desired wellbeing goal or personal interests.

Chris Guest, Head of Lifestyle and Community at Majesticare’s Wiltshire care home, Blenheim House in Melksham commented on how important it is to ensure residents have access to physical wellbeing sessions.

“As part of our “Continue being Me” programme which stimulates mind, body and soul for our residents, we have incorporated Oomph! as part of our daily fitness, dexterity and motor skills development classes. Our residents love the sessions and it is a delight to watch our staff join in! Oomph! helps us to create a vibrant, happy care home where physical and sensory stimulation is so important”

The project has been spearheaded by Steve Gardner, Wellbeing Director, Oomph! on Demand, a qualified personal trainer who also delivers an array of motivational seated exercise sessions on the platform. He said:

“Care home residents are losing out on so much including the chance to see family members and to take outings. We have sharpened our focus on the life affirming things that older adults can still do. On Demand is a no-brainer for enhancing quality of life in every care home in the UK and we are delighted to be partnering with Majesticare who have signed up to this new Oomph initiative”

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

‘Together With Music’ Aims To Lift Winter Spirits Through Intergenerational Connections And The Sharing Of Music

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Oomph! are proud to be a supporting partner of a brand new intergenerational initiative. Care England, in partnership with Intergenerational Music Making, are launching Together with Music – a new project to lift the spirits of thousands of care home residents this winter. This initiative will strengthen and build upon links between education, health and community organisations adopting music as a conduit for sharing cultural heritage, providing a physical and emotional bond and enhancing individual identity for the young and old.

Hundreds of care homes are expected to join in this project that links them to local schools and youth groups using the power of music and the internet. This will reduce the isolation that has been created by Covid restrictions.

All homes will be matched to a local school or youth group. Both the care home residents and the young people will choose songs that are meaningful to them and share them with each other. This musical introduction will act as a vehicle into further connection, creativity and stronger community links across England.

Music has been recognised as an effective way of engaging people including those with dementia which make up a large proportion of care home residents. This project builds on the impact of the BBC Music for Dementia initiative in September as part of World Alzheimer’s Month.

An initial programme ‘Musical Conversations’ run by IMM with MHA showed the transformative value of these musical connections. One resident commented, “”Music is so powerful and it’s been really uplifting receiving personalised messages from the most wonderful children. Long may it continue!”

Together with Music will build virtual connections between care homes and their local communities through the winter months when so many are feeling isolated, depressed and disconnected. Through music and the act of music making, the project aims to raise awareness, establish links and in turn, tackle loneliness, isolation and promote sustainable socialising for those most vulnerable. This campaign will encourage community partnerships and empower care staff, teachers and community members to play an active role in their neighbourhoods. Through connection and collaboration, it will build strong, creative and resilient communities and offer both the young and the old an opportunity to explore, develop and come together in music.

Launch care provider partners are Barchester Healthcare, Hallmark Care Homes and MHA. The education partner is Sing up! The project has been made possible with funding from Tunstall Healthcare and the Hallmark Care Homes Foundation, along with supporting contributions from Oomph!, Independent Age, Zenergi and CoolCare.

Professor Martin Green, the CEO Care England, said, “Care homes are especially mindful of the need to consider the emotional and spiritual well being of residents whilst restrictions are in place to protect them from Covid-19. This project will bring a ray of sunshine to thousands of lives and help counter feelings of isolation during the winter months.”

IMM Director, Charlotte Miller, said,  “We are thrilled that we are partnering with Care England in this exciting intergenerational campaign. Together with Music will connect young people with care home residents through music to raise awareness, establish links and in turn, tackle loneliness, isolation and promote sustainable socialisation for those most vulnerable. It shall be through these magical connections and collaborations that Together with Music will build strong, creative and resilient communities. It starts with a song!”

For further information, visit the Together With Music website here, or email hello@togetherwithmusic.org.uk

Rock around the clock: new on-demand service to get care home residents stretching, singing and socialising

By Care Home No Comments

Exercise classes and activities are to be beamed into care homes through new Oomph! On Demand service, tackling lockdown loneliness and inactivity. Sport England, Arthritis Action and Boccia England are among partners working with us to reach tens of thousands of older adults through the platform, which is endorsed by Care England and National Care Forum.

National sports associations, leisure attractions and wellbeing experts are lending their support to the world’s first on demand, holistic lifestyle and exercise service for care homes, which has already gone live in more than 200 UK ‘early adopter’ care homes.

Oomph! On Demand will be streamed into UK care homes as part of our mission to enhance the minds, bodies and souls of care home residents, particularly during lockdown.

 

Oomph! On Demand includes:

  • Sports sessions such as slipper soccer and seated volleyball, designed with national sports bodies including Volleyball England, Boccia England and the English Cricket Board
  • Exercise activities adapted for different health conditions with experts from Arthritis Action and the University of Exeter
  • Language lessons with Lingo Flamingo, an expert organisation who make language learning accessible for all and improve the lives of those living with dementia.
  • A newly commissioned comedy performance about Henry VIII
  • Singalongs, music therapy sessions, drama workshops, virtual tours of stunning landscapes, cookery inspiration and how to craft activities
  • The service will also increase the audience for our nature workshops, developed previously with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Our specialist wellbeing instructors have played a key role in the creation of content and are adding many new activities each week. Care home staff and residents will be able to select activities according to their desired wellbeing goal or resident’s personal interests.

The project is being championed by Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care and the National Care Forum, the membership body for not for profit care providers. The development of the online platform and ongoing schedule of activity has been made possible through funding from Sport England and UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs.

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England said:

“Care England is delighted to support Oomph! on Demand. This great new platform is really innovative and it is also well tailored to life during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.  We know that activities and exercise are so important for all and it’s exciting to have a means to bring such energy to all care homes up and down the country”.

Forest Healthcare’s 13 Care Homes have been using the new platform. Its CEO, Amanda Scott, said:

“Engagement in meaningful activities for our residents is critical. Oomph! has allowed us to continue unhindered through the most difficult of circumstances when other traditional activities have not been possible. This partnership with Oomph! is pivotal in enhancing the lives of our residents.”

Many new clients, including Healthcare Homes Group’s 45 homes, have come to Oomph! in recent weeks to sign up for On Demand. In order to meet the needs of care homes during lockdown and beyond, Oomph! has pivoted from its core services of day trips and face to face training for care home staff. The new online model and pricing have already increased the reach of its wellbeing activities.

The project has been spearheaded by Steve Gardner, Wellbeing Director, Oomph! on Demand, a qualified personal trainer who also delivers an array of motivational seated exercise sessions on the platform. He said:

“Care home residents are losing out on so much, including the chance to see family members and to take outings. We have sharpened our focus on the life affirming things that older adults can still do. On Demand is a no-brainer for enhancing quality of life in every care home in the UK. We’re working closely with care home residents to ensure we are catering for every conceivable taste.”

Oomph! on Demand is available to care homes for unlimited use at £95/month.  Discounts are available to members of the National Care Forum and Care England.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum said:

“Oomph! has once again shown their excellence in innovation by bringing their resources and support online through Oomph! On Demand. Covering their range of engaging activity ideas, exercise inspiration and training tools all in one easy to navigate platform, Oomph! On Demand provides a whole world of wellbeing resources and support, whenever you need it. NCF has consistently raised the role of digital innovation and is excited to offer discounted access as a benefit of membership.”

Alongside the content hub, a training platform offering e-learning courses and virtual practical assessments will go live in December. Oomph!’s Training on Demand will offer courses on exercise leadership and the planning and delivery of activities  as well as upskilling workshops covering topics such as sports, nature and drama, which are even more relevant when outside entertainers are unable to provide meaningful engagement in homes.

For more information, a demo of the new service, or to sign up, you can get in touch with us here, or visit our dedicated On Demand pages here.

To find out more about Oomph! and what we do, email us here.

Care Homes Wow With “Hot Wheels” Falls Prevention Initiative

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From Christmas themed walking aids to Harley Davidson frames, Forest Healthcare homes across the UK have been taking part in a fantastic falls prevention challenge.

The initiative, supported by Oomph!, is challenging Forest Healthcare homes and their residents to glam up their walking aids, to help residents recognise their own frame – as, currently, a lot of walking aids have a uniform appearance and it can be difficult to tell these apart.

The initiative has been embraced by homes, and has resulted in some incredibly creative entries. The standard grey and silver tones have been replaced with an array of exciting person-centered themes, such as Christmas and remembrance themed frames at The Grange, a Chelsea FC themed frame at Hassingham House and a beehive themed frame at Grace Manor (photos can be found at the bottom of this article). Residents have been delighted with the results and keen to pose for photos with their new and improved wheels.

Belmont Lodge in Essex, tells us about one of their meaningful, person-centred and imaginative entries, which is writing and Salvation Army themed.

The Activities Coordinator commented; “One resident, Geoff, and I have created a frame of memories that matter to him. The aim was to empower him by creating this frame and reminiscing about meaningful memories he has had throughout his life. We have been working alongside Geoff and his children to find some lovely moments that he holds dear.

There was a heartfelt memory of his wife, Joan, who lives in the home with him, writing him a poem for their anniversary. Throughout Geoff’s life, he has also spent his time writing books and hymns  – which was one of his skills that we asked him to utilise when it came to decorating his frame! Our main theme was centred on Geoff and Joan’s time in the Salvation Army where they did extensive work looking after 300 orphaned boys in Korea. Geoff loves putting on his Salvation Army uniform which takes him back to the wonderful times he spent doing a job that he loved with the woman he loved!”

Amanda Scott, CEO of Forest Healthcare, tells us more about the initiative, “An initiative that involves residents, improves safety AND creates so much buzz and laughter from residents and team members is too good to pass by. I am delighted by the personalisation that has been included, showing that our team members really know our residents well. Perhaps next we can throw down the gauntlet to other Care Home groups and have a National Hot Wheels Competition?”

Ben Allen, CEO of Oomph!, “We love creative initiatives with a purpose! As well as regular exercise, ensuring that a resident’s walking aid is recognisable as their own – plus making them a stylish fashion accessory – is a great way to raise awareness and prevent falls. A huge well done to all of the teams and residents at the Forest Healthcare homes for their enthusiasm and hard work… The results are amazing!”

 

To find out more about Oomph! and what we do, email us here.

How To Dance Your Way To Better Wellbeing

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”The dance is over, the applause subsided, but the joy and feeling will stay with you forever.”

Jack McKechnie, our expert Lead Wellbeing Coordinator, talks us through the five steps to wellbeing, and practical advice for how you can introduce these in your care setting through the medium of dance…

Be Active

Be active by ensuring regular dance sessions are available and provide variation by introducing new dance routines. For example, line dancing inspiration can be found here.

Be active by introducing a new warm up to your sessions!

Be active by providing opportunities to progress, perhaps starting with simple dance routines, and then progressing into more difficult routines. Make sure you praise achievements!

Give To Others

Give to others by providing regular dance themed entertainment and encouraging participants to share their suggestions. For example, a ballet performance by the Royal Opera House would provide a wonderful evening of entertainment, find one here.

Give to others by awarding each other certificates for participation in dance sessions. A simple certificate for their contribution to a session would fill someone with joy and a sense of achievement.

Give to others by encouraging them to create their own dance props in creative craft sessions. These could make wonderful gifts. For inspiration look at a how to make a dance ribbon here.

Connect

Connect with family, linking up through video calls to enable them to watch and join in with dance sessions.

Connect people by creating a dance themed club, this will not only encourage continuity but also promote friendships!

Connect with participants and encourage competition by creating your own dance themed leader board! You could make this in a craft sessions. This can change weekly depending on your scoring system!

Keep Learning

Keep learning by educating participants on the names of specific dance steps!

Keep learning by researching different dance cultures from around the world, get started here.

Keep learning by finding interesting information about the History of Dance, we’ve found a video that is a great place to start here.

Be Mindful

Encourage mindfulness by asking participants to focus on their thoughts and feelings during dance routines and discuss this afterwards.

Experience mindfulness before or after a session by promoting gentle breathing exercises.

Play gentle, flowing music and ask participants to follow the flow of the music with their bodies, therefore creating their own mindful dance routine. They might want to move their whole bodies or just their hands, it doesn’t matter as long as they follow the music!

During unprecedented times, Oomph! are keen to support with stimulating and varied content for older adults. As part of this, we are releasing resources based on our Oomph! skills workshops.

You can download the PDF of this resource here.

 

To find out more about our new virtual resources and support programme, email us here.

A Quick And Easy Introduction To Line Dancing

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Line dancing is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which people dance in lines or rows, all at the same time. It is said to have originated from historical Folk dances.

Jack McKechnie, our expert Lead Wellbeing Coordinator, talks us through the steps and how you can implement this in your care setting…

Did you know?

The dance was created by American dancer Ric Silver in the 1970’s.

Try it out…

The grapevine is a four step travelling movement. Each step can be counted as 1,2,3, and 4. This is then repeated the opposite way, therefore adding up to 8 steps. Each step can then follow the 8 beats to the song.

Traveling to the right side or to the left side (you can start either way), it is surprisingly simple! Just follow these steps:

  1. Right foot steps to the right
  2. Left foot crosses behind the right one
  3. Right foot steps to the right
  4. Left foot closes to the left side of the right foot

Then repeat the opposite way, following the 8 beats!

Adaptation: The beauty of line dancing means that an individual can perform the steps either seated or standing. If you have a participant who is nursed in bed, why not adapt the routines so that they follow a range of hand movements instead! This will therefore make the activity inclusive to all.

Not sure about the steps? Use the graphic below from LineDance4You to help!

The benefits

Line dancing is a fantastic form of exercise, especially for older adults. It provides an abundance of benefits, including aerobic workouts which help maintain the functional capacity of the heart. It also offers a great platform for social interaction – perfect for mental wellbeing.

During unprecedented times, Oomph! are keen to support with stimulating and varied content for older adults. As part of this, we are releasing resources based on our Oomph! skills workshops.

You can download the PDF of this resource here.

 

To find out more about our new virtual resources and support programme, email us here.