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Oomph!’s Care Home Olympics, Encouraging Healthy Competition Across The Care Sector

By Care Home, Community No Comments

Following the huge success of the 2020 Oomph! Olympics, from the 1st August to the 31st August, Oomph! is running another care home “Oomph! Olympics” and we’re looking for enthusiastic care homes across the UK to get involved in the competition.

What are the Oomph! Olympics?

The Oomph! Olympics is a special sports-based competition running throughout August and encouraging all care homes across the UK to get involved. The event – like the Olympics – will include a wide range of sports, with a different theme each week. The competition looks like this:

  • Kick Off and Opening Ceremony
  • Week 1: Swimming
  • Week 2: Gymnastics
  • Week 3: Court Games
  • Week 4: Beach Games
  • Judging and Closing Ceremony

For each theme, Oomph! will provide free resources, from activities and puzzles to quizzes, videos and more. The resources aim to be accessible to everyone from an ability and equipment perspective.

And yes, don’t worry – there will be prizes to be won!

Who can sign up?

Any care home can sign up and join the competition! To take part, every week they must submit a photo or video of residents and the wider community getting involved in the week’s theme. There will be 3 winners per week in the categories: Community spirit, Creativity, and Fun.

The games will be judged by an expert panel. However, even though this is a competition, above all we promote taking part and having fun!

How can I get involved?

If you’re a care home in the UK… You can sign up to take part using our form here. We will then send you free resources and updates throughout the competition!

If you’re anyone else… We’re looking to get this campaign heard far and wide to encourage exercise for older adults! Please help us by sharing this article, our social media posts and spreading the word.

 

If you want to get involved to help support this initiative or just find out more, please contact us at hello@oomph-wellness.org

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

Oomph! On Demand Partners with Mindfulness Expert to “Find Your Calm”

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Mindfulness expert, Find Your Calm, is partnering up with Oomph! On Demand to provide a series of mindfulness & meditation videos that teach various calming techniques – from dealing with change and post-lockdown anxiety, to engaging the senses. Here’s a little bit about Find Your Calm from Founder, Heather…

I am a qualified mindfulness teacher with the UK College of Mindfulness Meditation. I first discovered mindfulness about 7 years ago. I was studying to be chartered accountant in a high pressured, stressful job and it really helped me through my exams and work related stress.

I have suffered from depression and anxiety from a child and had never really found anything that helped me to cope until I found mindfulness. I have been a changed person (ask my partner!), I am now able to cope with stress and anxiety, I enjoy life more and I have been able to discover what truly makes me happy. This is because mindfulness helps you to think more clearly and helps you to stop living your head.

I have discovered so many more benefits of mindfulness which include dealing with pain, better sleep, better focus and I have been helping others will illnesses such as fibromyalgia and heart conditions.

I want to share Mindfulness with others because it is something we all have within us and it can benefit so many people. Once you learn how to practice, you can incorporate it into your daily life with ease! Plus, the benefit is so much more than the effort you think you have to put in – once you learn the techniques, you will not see it as effort anymore… More like self-care for your wellbeing.

My plans for Find Your Calm include working more with care homes, educational establishments, charities and organisations. I also am working on combining mindfulness with art! In the future, I plan to set up a centre/retreat where people can come and experience mindfulness and other holistic healing techniques – there will be a vegan café at the centre where you can do some art, read some books and meet like-minded people!

I am really excited to be partnering with Oomph! to provide mindfulness sessions to care providers across the UK, especially at a time when people are finding more anxiety and depression in their lives. The series is designed specifically for those in care and targets key areas that are relevant for them!

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

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

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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

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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

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