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Care Home

Oomph! Release Annual Impact Report 2019

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

We’re delighted to release our brand new Oomph! Impact Report 2019. This has been an inspirational year for us, our clients and the residents we support. 

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • We have trained over 5,400 staff, and have delivered over 55,000 exercise classes
  • 100% of staff would recommend our training to a colleague
  • We have gone on 5,500 trips, taking 21,000 residents Out & About

You can read the full report here, for detailed information and some wonderful stories that bring the facts and stats to life.

A big thank you to all of our partners who have contributed to our success this year, we couldn’t have done it without you. We look forward to another inspiring year…

Roll on 2020!

 

Image: Karuna Manor, TLC

Helping to bring music to everyone in the UK with dementia by 2020

By | Care Home

Oomph! are working collaboratively with BBC Music Day to help bring music to everyone in the UK with dementia by 2020, using BBC Music Day as a platform.

The fifth BBC Music Day takes place on Thursday 26th September with events and broadcasts across the week. The theme this year is music and wellbeing; the power of music to inspire, to bring us together and make a positive impact. For its music and dementia initiative, BBC Music Day 2019 is collaborating with over 50 UK organisations involved with dementia care, reaching out through their networks and beyond to help bring music to everyone living with dementia in the UK.

To celebrate, we’ve organised events with care homes that we work with across the country to involve as many older adults in music on the day as possible.

We are holding a special music workshop for staff at Somerset House near York, part of the Country Court Care group, to upskill the team in the home and bring music therapy to a range of different resident abilities. The Oomph! Music workshop has been developed by experienced music therapist, Stuart Wood MBE PhD, in partnership with Oomph!, and who will be in attendance on the day.

A practical session will take place after the workshop so that residents can enjoy playing fun and engaging musical games, and will have the opportunity to join in with a choir group created as a result of the workshop.

Meanwhile, Karuna Manor, TLC, will be holding a cultural Oomph! exercise session to international music, bringing a person-centered twist to music therapy in the home. Other events include a karaoke afternoon at Cross Way House, Brookvale Healthcare, who are inviting a local Learning Disabilities group in to join the celebrations, and an intergenerational choir event at Fairmile Grange, Encore Care Homes, who are welcoming children from a local school to come and sing with residents.

To get involved in BBC Music Day, visit www.bbc.co.uk/musicday

 

Background: BBC Music Day celebrates the power of music to change lives with events across the UK and broadcasts on TV, Radio and digital. Last year BBC Music Day programmes reached over 13 million viewers on TV, 14 million on radio and trended on Twitter throughout the day. The initiative united 100 external partners who delivered over a thousand live music events, which featured in over 100 different BBC programmes with Ambassadors including Kylie, Nile Rodgers and Blossoms.

Westgate Healthcare gets some Oomph! with new partnership!

By | Care Home, Out and about

We are partnering with Westgate Healthcare, to engage residents in awesome exercise classes and creative activities, as well as regular trips out.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in Westgate Healthcare homes have been trained in our Wellbeing Leadership programme. This pilot ensures that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulator requirements.

One member of staff commented, “‘I really enjoyed the training, it was fun, interactive and educational. Thank you!’

Another said of the impact after training, “Staff who never joined in before are starting to get involved, everyone loves it.”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Nature, which has been developed in collaboration with Kew Gardens. The workshop focuses on teaching staff how to encourage residents to get outdoors and appreciate nature, as well as bringing the outdoors in by supporting residents to get green-fingered. Further workshops will focus on culture, sensory engagement and dance.

Additionally, engaging days out to a range of destinations are running for homes, with added value and variety to trip experiences created through partnerships with the National Trust and HQ Theatres.

The trips aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them, and Westgate trips have already been going to interesting locations, such as Whipsnade Zoo.

A member of staff said of a recent trip to the zoo, “This was the highlight of our residents’ year! What an amazing experience, our driver was so friendly and very much a part of our team!”

Tara Teubner, Director at Westgate Healthcare, said: “The partnership with Oomph! allows our residents to continue to experience everything they enjoy outside of the care facilities. We’ll be working with the team at Oomph! to establish regular day trips and activities, whilst ensuring every resident receives first-class care and support.

“We are looking forward to experiencing the new and exciting adventures that are instore for us at Westgate Healthcare, whilst making new memories with all our residents.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be driving innovation and participation across Westgate homes through our partnership. We are excited to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident wellbeing!”

Avante Care & Support partners up with Oomph! enterprise!

By | Care Home, Out and about

We are partnering with Avante Care & Support, a leading UK Care provider, to engage residents in awesome exercise classes and creative activities, as well as regular trips out.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in 3 Avante care homes have been trained in our Wellbeing Leadership programme. This pilot ensures that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home and residents that take part, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulatory requirements.

One member of staff commented, “I found the training so interesting and enjoyed every part. It was great learning about all the different movements to help engage residents”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Nature, which has been developed in collaboration with Kew Gardens. The workshop focuses on teaching staff how to encourage residents to get outdoors and appreciate nature, as well as bringing the outdoors in by supporting residents to get green-fingered. Further workshops will focus on culture, sensory engagement and dance.

Additionally, engaging days out to a range of destinations are running for 2 Avante care homes, with added value and variety to trip experiences created through partnerships with the National Trust and HQ Theatres.

The trips aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them – Avante trips provided by Oomph! have previously included interesting locations, such as vintage tea rooms, Hall Place & Gardens, and a naval dockyard museum.

A member of staff said of a recent trip, “Today we went to a historical royal naval dockyard museum. It houses a large collection of steam trains, one resident said he had a marvellous time visiting the museum.”

Jacqui Morris, Director of Quality at Avante Care & Support, said: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Oomph! who are introducing new activities and opportunities for residents whilst enhancing and supporting current activities across our care homes. We have already seen a positive increase in engagement and interaction amongst the residents involved and look forward to seeing more positive impacts for the residents across the care homes.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are excited to be partnering with Avante to drive innovation and participation across the homes and are delighted to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident wellbeing!”

How to create a dementia-friendly garden

By | Care Home

As we welcome the warmer weather, kicking off our Oomph! Nature workshop and some fantastic summer trips, we get expert advice from Nicky Roeber, Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres – one of our popular trip destinations – on designing a garden for those living with dementia.

Gardening can be great for the mind and body. Just being outdoors brings great benefits on our health. And, for those living with dementia, gardening can be hugely beneficial for keeping the brain active. It can help create a routine, stimulate the mind and the senses, and provide a great feeling of purpose. But planning a garden for those living with the condition can be slightly different to designing your usual plot at home, and there are some extra considerations you’ll need to make. Below, you’ll find my expert advice on how you can create a garden that those living with dementia can enjoy.

Make it safe and accessible

Make sure that the garden is kept secure, with high fences and locked gates to ensure that it is a safe space. You can grow climbing plants like wisteria, honeysuckle or English ivy along these surfaces to make the space bright, beautiful and less intimidating.

Pathways and surfaces should be non-slip to reduce the risk of injury from falling. You should also keep these surfaces all one colour where possible, as contrasting flooring can look like steps to those living with dementia, which can be another safety hazard.

Try to keep pathways wide enough for wheelchairs and for at least two people to walk side-by-side. You should plan to avoid steps where you can. As a more accessible alternative, you can use ramps with a gentle incline. You could also place signs along paths and pavements to make the garden easier to navigate.

For older people, especially those living with dementia, certain activities and movements can be more difficult, which means bending down to plant seeds and to weed may not be as easy. Raising flowerbeds and vegetable patches from the ground means they can still do their usual garden activities from standing height.

When choosing plants, make sure to avoid those that could be harmful if eaten. It’s also best to stay away from any prickly or pointy species that could hurt someone if they were to hold them.

Attract local wildlife

Having animals like birds nearby can improve mood and have a calming effect on those living with dementia (Care UK). Try to design your garden to attract more local wildlife like bees, butterflies, birds and even hedgehogs.

You can easily add some bird baths and bird feeders to the garden to attract more feathered friends, but you can bring a whole range of wildlife to the space by picking the right plants. Trees are great nesting places for birds, and fruit trees have an added benefit of providing sweet produce, too.

Pick low lying plants, shrubs and hedgerows to give hedgehogs a cosy nesting place. Then, pick flowers that are rich in pollen, like lavender and sunflowers, to attract bees and butterflies.

Create a sensory experience

For those living with dementia, sensory experiences can help keep the brain active, so try growing plants that can stimulate their sense of touch, sound, smell, taste and sight. These include:

  • Touch: I’ve previously mentioned that you should try to avoid thorny plants, but there are so many other species that can add a more tactile element to the space. The soft leaves of lamb’s ear feel silky when rubbed, which can have a great calming effect.
  • Sound: Attracting wildlife can add some great sounds to the garden, like soothing birdsong and gentle buzzing. But, bamboo and tall grasses, like greater quaking grass, can provide some interesting sounds when moved by a light breeze.
  • Smell: I’ve already mentioned that lavender can be great for attracting bees and butterflies, but its delicate scent can really help to relax the mind.
  • Taste: Herbs like rosemary, thyme and mint might all carry some lovely scents in the breeze, and are completely edible, too! And don’t forget about fruit bushes and trees, which can grow some tasty produce for everyone to enjoy. Just make sure you choose varieties that are safe to eat, as those living with dementia may not be able to differentiate between edible berries and those that could be dangerous. It’s also best to stay away from fruits that can cause a choking hazard, such as cherries.
  • Sight: Growing a mixture of plants can really help to stimulate the senses, so try to pick contrasting coloured petals and plants with bright leaves.

By following these few tips, you can easily create a safe and stimulating garden for everyone to enjoy.

How to drive inclusion in care home activities

By | Care Home

Last week brought us 2019’s Dementia Action Week, giving us time to reflect on this year’s theme of inclusion. Craig Taylor-Green, a Regional Wellbeing Coordinator at Oomph!, gives his thoughts on how care homes can ensure that all residents are involved in wellbeing activities.

As I write this, I know that there may be care home staff up and down the country scratching their heads as they attempt to inspire residents to take part in an activity. What does it take to ensure all residents have the opportunity to not just take part in an activity, but to take part and reap the benefits of health and wellbeing related outcomes which can have a positive impact on their mind, body and soul?

My focus is on the ‘adaptation of activities’ and steps we can take to increase the likelihood of positive engagement between resident, activity and carer. Our goal is to have a failure free environment! It’s a tricky balance ensuring activities are achievable – in order to avoid frustration and disappointment – but also challenging enough to avoid patronising or boring residents.

For us to stand a chance of success at ‘including’ all our residents, we need to have in place…

Life Stories & Wellbeing Plans

We need to know the person – it is absolutely crucial that as soon as someone moves into a care home, we start developing their life story. This in turn will allow us to create individual, meaningful wellbeing plans, full of activity ideas which can then be facilitated & adapted. We stand a much better chance of succeeding by including someone with an activity they love, or previously had a passion for, and our understanding of a person’s journey with dementia enables us to be more responsive to their needs. Gathering life story information can be a daunting task but it is pivotal.

Motivation

Ask yourself: ‘What motivates me?’. It might be one thing today and another tomorrow! It’s exactly the same for a person living with dementia – their needs and what motivates them will most likely change through their journey – so we must understand what might be relevant and meaningful for that individual at that time. What works one day, might not work the next. Hence the CQC KLOE ‘responsive’.

At the same time, it is important to present people with the opportunity to try new things. If a person declines to take part, then that’s fine, but please do not give up! One day, you might be surprised as when they engage with the unlikeliest of activities. Additionally, the idea of leaving the room to go to a group activity might be a scary thought for some residents. This should not be a barrier! With good planning, we can still ensure someone can live the fullest life they can live within their environment, whilst taking steps to try to build up their confidence to socialise outside of their rooms.

Adaptation of activities for someone living with dementia

So how do we break activity and exercise down for people living with dementia? Whilst it may be difficult to determine exactly what stage someone may be in their journey with dementia the following principles may apply:

Early stages

In the early stages, it should be possible to facilitate a meaningful, structured, goal orientated activity that focuses on the whole task. We may find that it is possible to focus on all of the elements, from start to finish and that the person’s interest may be maintained throughout the whole task (especially if it is something they are passionate about). A person may also have the capacity to follow instructions, and may benefit from linking with outside organisations to integrate into the community for these activities.

IDEAS: Structured activities may be boardgames such as scrabble, sports games such as bowling, structured arts and crafts, mastermind quizzes, group discussions and aqua aerobics

Middle Stages

As a person progresses through their journey with dementia, with potential consequences on their thought processes and language, this may impact their ability to follow the ‘structure’ of an activity. Their familiarity with the routine or objects used may still be in tact, with makes it beneficial to focus on the ‘steps’ and not the activity as a whole. Shorter activities may be appropriate, or 1:1 sessions that promote a safe environment where the person feels confident to express themselves. It may help to repeat instructions. The important thing is that the person still has the opportunity to accomplish something – and constant enthusiasm, excitement and acknowledgement of doing a good job by the carers should stimulate and motivate.

IDEAS: Movement to music, dance, reminiscence and expressive arts could help a resident to express themselves

Later Stages

Fact and logic continue to deteriorate rapidly during later stages and – while emotions and feelings may sometimes be jumbled up, they do remain intact, making it incredibly important to ensure all engagement with residents is driven by positivity. A person may now enjoy sensory stimulating activities and those which follow repetitive actions, using visuals to stimulate engagement. For example, the sensory aspects of a baking task could be: kneading the dough (but not with a cake baking goal in mind), tasting or smelling the ingredients where safe to do so, tasting or smelling the cake when baked.

I often found in my experience as an Activity Coordinator, that the incredible rewards from breaking through with someone in their later stages of dementia were second to none. Do not underestimate the benefits of including that person!

IDEAS: Movement to music, carpet balloon games, pairing and organising clutter drawers, quiz games such as finish the sentence, sensory stimulation such as scent bottles, folding laundry and gentle massage (if qualified and safe to do so).

Final thought

Not all superheroes wear capes! If you are currently working in a care home, know that you are part of a great team of people putting the lives of others at the forefront! You have the power to make an impact on a person’s life that in turn will impact another and another and another and – whilst thinking outside the box is greatly encouraged – sometimes it’s the simple steps that can make a difference.

 

Photo from Park View Care Home

5 Top Tips for getting your care home creative

By | Care Home

With the launch of our Oomph! Create workshop, Heather, from The Lightbox Museum and Gallery, has some top tips for bringing art into your care setting:

Enjoy the process of making rather than the finished piece.

It’s great to have lots of beautiful work to put up, but also the enjoyment that is created through making should not be underestimated. Not everything has to look like a Turner painting! It can be the first time they have spent 20 minutes sitting and painting, or the colours that they love, that make the artwork so good.

Use what you see.

Sometimes we have an abundance of one item that can be used in many different ways. For example, a kitchen roll tube can be used to make a multitude of craft projects, such as owls or puppets, or they can even be used to print with to make a lovely circle pattern. If you have a garden, you could use leaves and twigs to create nature inspired collages.

It’s not always about making.

Some people like to know more about the artists, rather than make themselves. Print out biographies and share some of your residents’ knowledge. One of them may have been to an exhibition or show that you are talking about.

Try to use good quality materials as far as possible.

If you want to paint, try to provide the best you can afford. There is nothing worse than painting in watercolours and the paper being too thin so it wrinkles! Use card if you prefer so that it has a bit of weight to it. Acrylics are good paints to use too, they make a nice block colour (but note that any mess can be tricky to wash out of clothes).

Create a gallery wall.

Showcase what you have been doing in your care home! You don’t need big fancy frames, you could have a pin board which changes regularly. It gives residents pride in their work and also means that their friends and families can see what they’re up to.

To date, 127 homes have participated in the Oomph! Create workshop, with 208 staff members taking part across the UK. 98% would recommend the workshop, and 77% said it was even better than expected. Our next workshop in the series is based on nature, encouraging residents to get outdoors and appreciate nature, as well as bringing the outdoors in – Oomph! Nature will be launching in March, so watch this space!

Country Court Care gets some Oomph! for their residents!

By | Care Home

“Another great day! Buzzing atmosphere, happy residents, happy carers. Well enjoyed by all despite the cold weather!” One member of staff commented after a recent trip.

We have partnered with Country Court Care, a leading UK Care Group, to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for residents, as well as engaging trips out.

A pilot project has been agreed where 4 homes have been embracing the exercise and activity training and 8 homes have been going out to local destinations.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in 4 Country Court Care Homes have been trained in our Wellbeing Leadership programme. This ensures that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulator requirements.

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Create, which has been developed in collaboration with The Lightbox Art Gallery & Museum in Woking. The workshop focuses on teaching staff the fundamentals of sketching, painting, sculpting and collage, and how they can practically apply these. Further workshops will focus on culture and nature.

One member of staff commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of Oomph! training and look forward to trying it with residents.”

Additionally, engaging days out to a range of destinations are running for 8 Country Court Care homes, with added value and variety to trip experiences created through partnerships with the National Trust and HQ Theatres.

The trips aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them – Country Court Care trips have previously included unexpected locations, such as the Blue Planet Aquarium, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the Sloane Square Christmas lights.

A member of staff said, “The driver is brilliant, he always gives that bit extra. It makes a huge difference having the transport all organised. The residents love getting out and enjoying fresh air.”

Alykhan Kachra, Managing Director at Country Court Care, said: “Both residents and staff have given very positive feedback on Oomph!’s exciting and fresh approach in our pilot care homes. We are delighted to see our partnership enabling activities and exercise that are meaningful and will enrich the lives of our residents”

Ben Allen, Oomph!’s CEO, said: “Oomph! are excited to be in partnership with Country Court Care – it is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision and we are excited to help ensure that residents at Country Court Care homes live a full life, for life.”

Kingsley Healthcare gets even more Oomph! with programme roll out!

By | Care Home

Following the success of the Wellbeing Programme in 13 Kingsley Healthcare homes, a further 12 homes are due to be trained to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for their residents, with the previous homes continuing into their second year.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in 12 Kingsley Healthcare homes will be trained in Oomph!’s Wellbeing Leadership programme. This will ensure that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulator requirements.

There has already been plenty of impact from the homes who have been trained – for example, Sharston House has set up a befriending scheme to pair up people with similar interests. One pair enjoy playing the piano together, with a glass of sherry during the visit, and another befriender who is a bee keeper recently dropped off homemade jam for a resident’s birthday.

At another home, one of the team heard about a resident whose husband was a bricklayer, so took her around the home’s new build project to have a look and meet the foreman.

One member of staff commented on the benefit that she had seen in the home, “Looking at the last report gave us some insight as to what was missing and what needed improvement. It is very helpful to have a team behind you with a wealth of knowledge and experience to aid improvement in our delivery and improve our skill set!”

Another said that, “Oomph! has a marvellous impact on our residents. It’s smiles all around, lovely to see and be a part of.”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Create, which has been developed in collaboration with The Lightbox Art Gallery & Museum in Woking. The workshop focuses on teaching staff the fundamentals of sketching, painting, sculpting and collage, and how they can practically apply these. Further workshops will focus on culture and nature.

Kingsley Healthcare’s Operations Director, Debbie McGovern, said, “Oomph! training has been tremendously productive for both our staff and residents. We are committed to making life as interesting and enjoyable as possible for our residents and are delighted to be extending our partnership to the benefit of more of our homes.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! could not be more excited to continue working with the team at Kingsley, to expand our impact throughout the whole portfolio of homes. It has been a privilege to add further fun and engagement to resident activities – and we’re looking forward to building upon this momentum in the upcoming months!”

Sanctuary Care gets some Oomph! with “life-changing” new partnership

By | Care Home

85-year-old resident Colleen Keen, who brands herself as an ‘Oomph! Girl’ said: “The classes are liberating. I used to struggle with circulation, especially in my ankles but now the classes have really improved this. They really are life-changing.”

We have partnered with Sanctuary Care, a leading UK Care Group, to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for residents.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff across a number of care homes run by Sanctuary Care, have been trained in our Wellbeing Leadership programme. This ensures that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulator requirements.

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Create, which has been developed in collaboration with The Lightbox Art Gallery & Museum in Woking. The workshop focuses on teaching staff the fundamentals of sketching, painting, sculpting and collage, and how they can practically apply these. Further workshops will focus on culture and nature.

Jennifer Simpson from Sanctuary Care’s Nunthorpe Oaks Residential Care Home in North Yorkshire said: “I cannot put into words how fantastic these care home activities are, not only are they lots of fun for residents and staff but more importantly we are supporting residents to be more sociable, independent, active and alert, as well as being healthier in the best possible way!”

Sheila O’Connor, Director of Operations – Sanctuary Care added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Oomph! and it’s exciting training programme. The support Oomph! has provided has helped to enrich the lives of our residents and further develop staff in our homes to ensure they continue to deliver the best quality of care to our residents.”

Ben Allen, Oomph!’s CEO, said: “Oomph! are excited to be in partnership with Sanctuary Care, to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision and to help ensure that residents at Sanctuary Care homes live a full life, for life.”

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