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Care Home

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.

Abbey Healthcare staff and residents get some Oomph! with wellbeing partnership!

By | Care Home, Out and about

Speaking of the impact on the home after training, a member of staff said, “One resident who doesn’t normally join in with activities, started smiling and showed signs of happiness as she engaged in an Oomph! session.”

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

Following a successful pilot with 6 of the homes in the portfolio, staff in the remaining 10 Abbey Healthcare homes will be taking a whole-home approach to activities, being trained in Oomph!’s 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.

One member of staff commented, “It was all very useful and will help me to engage better with our residents. It was good fun and educational.”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Sensory, which is based on the Namaste Care philosophy, enabling relaxation, tranquillity and engagement. The workshop provides an alternative approach to many other types of physical activity, and includes techniques such as hand massage. This is particularly relevant for individuals who are less able, and are perhaps nursed in their beds or living with advanced dementia. Further workshops focus on culture, dance and sport.

Additionally, engaging days out to a range of destinations are running for 11 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 Abbey Healthcare trips have already been going to interesting locations, such as East Anglia Railway Museum, Royal Air Force Museum and Knowsley Safari Park.

A member of staff said of a recent trip to the Railway Museum, “We found that on the trip, residents were really engaging with each other. They enjoyed the guided tour, listening intensely to what was being said. We chatted and reminisced about the old railways – some of the residents were very knowledgeable about railways and local history!”

Andy Taylor, Group Finance Director at Abbey Healthcare, comments: “Oomph! has really enabled us to up our wellbeing offering for residents – and feedback from residents has been overwhelmingly positive.  Not only that, but our staff are now really engaged in wellbeing – it’s improving staff morale and the quality of care we provide for our residents.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be partnering with Abbey Healthcare, it is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision and we are excited to help ensure that Abbey Healthcare residents life a full life, for life.”

 

Pictured: The Team at Aaron Court show off their certificates after completing the Oomph! Relax workshop, which has been developed with experts to use the principles of yoga, pilates, tai chi and mindfullness to bring sessions of relaxation and tranquility to residents.

Exercise sessions give 101-year-old care home resident new lease of life

By | Care Home

Phil is an incredible 101-years-old. He’s a resident at Whitefriars Care Home in Stamford, part of The Orders of St John Care Trust and has recently discovered a passion for exercise sessions facilitated by Oomph!.

After being trained by Oomph!, the team at Whitefriars began delivering three exercise classes a week for residents, and they’ve had resoundingly positive feedback and very high participation levels.

It soon became clear that Phil, who is living with dementia, enjoyed taking part in these classes – so much so that he now helps lead the sessions! The exercise sessions have given Phil a new lease of life, and he has come out of his shell since arriving at the home – not only does he encourage other residents to join in with the classes, but he also encourages them to join in with other activities at the home, including gardening in the summer months.

Phil’s enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed with Oomph!’s Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Jade, awarding him with his very own Oomph! t-shirt to wear.

‘Oomph! has brought the community of Whitefriars together, including those that come in on Day Care, which is absolutely amazing. It’s great because everybody gets involved. I would love Oomph! to continue at Whitefriars without a shadow of a doubt.’ commented Shelly, House Manager at Whitefriars Care Home

You can read the full case study by Nesta here.

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!”

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