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Care Home

Care home resident’s wish comes true with reminiscent trip to Northern Ireland

By | Care Home

Oomph! work in partnership with TLC Care Group, a provider of care homes across Herts, Surrey, London and Cambridgeshire, to train and support homes, with wishes and ambitions making up a key initiative of the programme.

Derek, a resident at Carlton Court in Barnet, desperately wanted to return to Northern Ireland to visit his mother’s grave following her recent passing. The home learned of his wishes and commenced on a plan to make them come true for him.

Steven Millar, an Activity Lead at the home, and Dee Osbourne, a Nurse at Carlton Court, put the wheels in motion to work together to make Derek’s dream a possibility. Steven booked flights from Stansted leaving at 9.40am and returning at 8.10pm. During their time in Belfast they took flowers to the grave of Derek’s parents, met with his brother and had a tipple in his local pub. Derek was able to fulfil his wishes and this meant the world to him, a truly life changing experience.

It was an emotional day for all, Steven said “It was lovely to see him reconnect with his brother, the whole day has been so fulfilling and worthwhile!”

Lorna Baldrick, Chief Operating Office for TLC said “A heart-warming journey for Derek that has brought tears to my eyes”

To see a video of their journey, check out Carlton Courts Facebook page here.

World Alzheimer’s Day at Sutton Court

By | Care Home

This World Alzheimer’s Day on Thursday 20th October, film crews visited Sutton Court where a special Oomph! exercise session was taking place to mark the day.

“Oomph specifically helps people with Alzheimer’s with their mental wellbeing and their physical wellbeing,” says Oomph! founder Ben Allen. “Like any one of us, when we exercise we get an endorphin release and feel really positive and really well. It’s exactly the same for anyone living with Alzheimer’s.”

“She just looks happy ,” says Angela Pettit, a daughter of a Sutton Court resident. “She’s smiling; trying to have a conversation with her now is quite hard, because the dementia has made her reasoning quite difficult, but because of the activities, it’s on another level.”

 

Shehzad Jivraj, Head of Operations at Clearstone Care, which runs Sutton Court, said, “Oomph has transformed the way in which activities and exercises are taken at our homes. Everyday when I walk around the home, I notice new and exciting person-centred activities and exercises and I see smiles on residents’ faces; these smiles are priceless. This has all stemmed from the excellent training, props, suggestions and assistance that Oomph! provides. These activities and exercises have improved the mobility, coordination, general health and mental health of our residents. We have also seen a rise in outings and external activities which the residents really do love, and again, many of these ideas have stemmed from discussions we have had with Oomph!

However, none of this would have been possible without our staff. Our staff at Sutton Court Care Centre have been incredible at embracing Oomph! and the activities programme here and they have worked extremely hard to get the home to where we want it to be. The team morale is great as all carers and staff work together to provide the activities and exercises and the spirit around the home has never been like it is today.”

Contact lisat@oomph-wellness.org for more information.

Canford Healthcare gets some Oomph! with new wellbeing partnership!

By | Care Home

We’re excited to be partnering with Canford Healthcare, a successful UK Care provider, to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for their residents.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in Canford Healthcare homes have been 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.

One Oomph! course attendee commented: “I loved learning to tell a story with interesting imagery and adding these to exercise routines!”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Relax, which has been developed in collaboration with expert practitioners of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. The workshop focuses on teaching staff how to deliver flowing exercises, breathing and mindfulness activities to residents. Further workshops will focus on culture, nature and sport.

Brian Cooney, Canford Healthcare CEO said, “At Canford Healthcare we understand the importance of activities to the wellbeing of our residents in order that they can lead full and engaging lives.  We are working with Oomph to further develop key skills to ensure that our residents can maximise their enjoyment of life”.

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be working with the Canford Healthcare team. It is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision. We will work in partnership to drive innovation and participation across the homes and are excited to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident activities!”

WCS Care gets some Oomph! with new wellbeing partnership!

By | Care Home, Out and about

We are partnering with WCS Care, a leading UK Care Group, to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for their residents, as well as engaging trips out.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in 12 WCS Care homes have been trained in our 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.

Staff feedback on the training has been excellent, with one member of staff commenting: “The practical elements of the course were good fun! This training got me confident and energised to lead sessions!”

Another said: “I found it great learning how important exercise is and seeing how it will make a massive difference to our residents!”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Sport, which has been designed in partnership with key national sports. These partnerships aim to make exercise as engaging as possible, to encourage inactive residents to take up physical activity and try something new – or rediscover lost passions. Additional workshops include relaxation, culture and nature.

Residents are now able to play clock cricket, slipper soccer and armchair volleyball – sports especially adapted to fit the needs and abilities of residents, with the new content ensuring that exercise sessions are continually fresh and exciting.

Additionally, Out & About trips are running for residents at 10 WCS Care homes, who are visiting a varied range of locations, spanning everything from arts and culture, to food and dining, to nature and the outdoors. Partnerships established with organisations such as the National Trust also mean that homes are getting out and about to beautiful houses, buildings and gardens in their local area.

Popular trip destinations have included Coventry Transport Museum, a horse sanctuary and a butterfly farm. These trips out aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them, so that they can reignite old passions – or discover new ones.

One staff member said: “The residents enjoyed the trip out to the park! It was lovely weather and we saw lots of wildlife. We all chatted to people in the park and enjoyed some refreshments. The residents were very excited to be out in the warm weather’’.

Christine Asbury, WCS Care’s Chief Executive, said: “Our partnership with Oomph! enables us to support residents with a wider range of opportunities, so they can continue to enjoy what they’ve always done or try something new.

“Oomph!’s comprehensive training fits well with our approach and values, giving staff permission to have fun and be creative while focusing on our ambition to make every day well lived for people living in a WCS Care home.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be working with the WCS Care team. It is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision. We will work in partnership to drive innovation and participation across the homes and are excited to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident activities!”

Inspiring others to create a whole-home approach to wellbeing

By | Care Home

On a regular basis I visit care homes to support the delivery of their wellbeing programmes, and I often hear that it’s an uphill battle to encourage others to support with activities. So how can the Activity Lead play a key role in inspiring others through wellbeing?

There’s a reason behind referring to wellbeing, as opposed to “activity”. This is not only to acknowledge the full 360 degrees of health benefits gained from activities, but also to break down the barrier of the word “activity” itself. “Activity” has a stigma attached to it, and is often perceived as a 45 minute period, a large group event, or something that involves arts and crafts. It is often considered as something that is solely the Activity Lead’s responsibility. Essentially, this word provides a lot more barriers than the term “wellbeing”.

The World Health Organisation defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This provides a platform for wellbeing within a care setting, ensuring that each and every interaction can tie into these three key areas.

It’s important to develop a varied programme that focuses on different benefits. These benefits can then be celebrated to show the significance of a good wellbeing programme in the home and should support creating a whole-home approach to activities. It becomes more than just that singing and dancing activity, it becomes something that allows people to live life to their potential.

Hence, to encourage support from others, we need to highlight what we have achieved. Having the ability to promote outcomes from activities gives people the opportunity to buy into what we are working towards, showcasing the significance behind what we’re doing. Mobility, dexterity, communication, concentration, friendships, motivation and confidence are a few areas to focus on. If you can develop an understanding of why you run each activity, this will support the vital evidencing and celebratory aspect of wellbeing. So often I hear about fantastic achievements, but these are not highlighted to the rest of the care setting – or on the other hand, they are, but very infrequently. This is a huge oversight, as celebrating these achievements is a great way to change people’s perceptions of what activities truly are.

Life stories are a great way to engage the wider team in wellbeing, whilst ensuring that individuals live life to the full. The Activity Lead can therefore play a key role in creating disguised activities – life stories can provide fantastic information to support interactions between everybody in a care setting. The more people know about an individual, the more this will influence meaningful interactions and will then transfer through to a whole home approach, where everyone plays a part in activities.

It’s not necessarily an easy journey, but taking some steps to inspire others through wellbeing can make all the difference to your programme, and ultimately to the lives of the residents in your care setting.

 

To find out more, email Steve at steven@oomph-wellness.org

 

Photo taken at Park View Care Home (First Care).

Oomph! Annual Impact Report 2017/18

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

We’re delighted to release our brand new Oomph! Impact Report 2017/18. This year, we’ve achieved amazing scale, positively changing the impact of ageing for record numbers of older adults across the UK.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • We have trained over 3,700 staff, and have delivered over 45,400 exercise classes
  • 100% of staff would recommend our training to a colleague
  • We have gone on 1925 trips, taking 8060 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.

Roll on 2019!

Springhill Care Group teams up with wellbeing specialist

By | Care Home

We’re partnering with Springhill Care, a leading UK Care Group, to provide engaging trips out for their residents.

Springhill Care Group, which operates three care homes across the UK, will work with us to implement a wellness project and deliver a range of activities for residents with a focus on positively changing the impact of ageing.

Employees at each home will attend development sessions which aims to enhance activity provision for residents, while an exercise leadership in care settings course, endorsed by Active IQ, will also be undertaken by Springhill’s lifestyle team to allow staff to run inclusive exercise sessions.

Donna Briggs, Managing Director at Springhill Care Group said: “Springhill aims to provide a life not just a service with a focus on enhancing the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of our residents. Over the next few months, Springhill will start to implement a whole-home wellbeing culture which will see all of our staff getting involved in some way.

“We look forward to our residents feeling the benefits of our partnership with Oomph! as we work to further develop our person-centred service, complete with a range of fun activities.”

Matt Hamblin, Senior Business Manager at Oomph! said: “Our team of dedicated experts will work closely with the Springhill team to positively change the impact of ageing and provide innovative exercise and activity solutions, as well as a range of workshops and trips out.”

“Working with Springhill Care Group gives us the opportunity to enhance the lives of people living in care homes – no matter how old they are, we can ensure they live a full life, for life.”

Rising technology in the Care Sector: Challenges and Opportunities

By | Care Home

Recently, at the Digital Healthcare show at Excel in London, Paul Burstow from Social Care Institute of Excellence held a thought provoking seminar focused on technology and how care homes need to develop to change with the times.

In the seminar, Paul highlighted that a recent report by The Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Health Foundation stated that, to remain in the same place with service provision, public spend on the care sector must increase from 1% to 1.5% by 2033. While this seems like a steep rise, countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden already devote this much to health and social care.

You can empathise with providers, who are encouraged to innovate and provide an increasingly high level of service, whilst concurrently, funding is being cut – perhaps this is an issue that the upcoming green paper will look to address. However, there are clear cost savings to be made for providers, whilst also improving resident quality of life, using technology to make smart and efficient time savings.

Visiting homes and managers trying to adopt digital care plan systems has shown that overnight adoption of the new technology is not common – often there are implementation issues, and staff sometimes feel that new systems using mobiles or tablets take more time than old paper-based systems. However, the key time saving occurs for managers or senior team members who can quickly access a much larger array of data than ever before. Armed with this knowledge, it is possible to note which individuals have not been involved in meaningful activity and target these people to ensure everyone in the home is being supported correctly.

Currently only around 2,000 care homes nationwide even have WiFi, when the over 65 market is one of the biggest growing markets for social media use. As more and more providers will have to install WiFi systems to meet the needs of their new digital systems, it means that this can also ensure that those moving into homes continue to enjoy a connected digital life.

I personally don’t see the future of social care as a poorly funded, fragmented sector – but one that will be filled with small but meaningful innovations, such as WiFi access, that ease pressures and improve quality of life for both staff and residents…

 

Any comments? Want to find out more? Please contact alexr@oomph-wellness.org

Canford Healthcare gets out and about with Oomph!

By | Care Home

We’re partnering with Canford Healthcare, a leading UK Care Group, to provide engaging trips out for their residents.

Trips are running for 9 Canford Healthcare homes, who are visiting a varied range of locations, spanning everything from arts and culture, to food and dining, to nature and the outdoors. Partnerships established with organisations such as the National Trust also mean that homes will be getting out and about to beautiful houses, buildings and gardens in their local area.

Previous Oomph! trips have been to unexpected and exciting locations, such as cat cafes, gin distilleries and racing tracks, as well as more day-to-day spots in the local community. These trips out aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them, so that they can reignite old passions – or discover new ones.

Canford homes have recently headed out to Southend Beach, Hastings Museum and De La Warr Pavilion, with one member of staff commenting:

“All the residents and staff alike had a lovely day, especially two of our residents in particular, as one is a retired architect and the other used to live on the south coast – so special memories for them both!”

Jennifer, Oomph! Conductor, said: “The residents loved going along the seafront and watching the children play in the water. One lady was an architect and was very interested in the history of the De La Warr Pavilion, so I spoke to her about the how it was decided who would design the building back in the 1930’s. One gentleman used to come down to Bexhill when he was a boy and had holidays in the town so he had particularly fond memories of the seafront.”

Barry Lambert, Chairman of Canford Healthcare, says: “We were extremely impressed with Oomph! and their offering. We feel it will help us to achieve our aim of providing excellent care to all of our residents in a stimulating environment and to ensure that all aspects of their wellbeing are catered for.”

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

Team Oomph! take on the 3 Peak Challenge

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

When the alarm went off at 4:30am on Friday 13th, it was safe to say no one in the team was particularly excited at the prospect of doing a 24 mile hike.

Loaded up with water, snacks – and some fabulously moist cakes from Apetito – spirits picked up as over 80 people in the care sector set off on the 3 Peaks Challenge, covering Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.

It was a rewarding day, with beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside, but most certainly not easy going – there was a downpour of rain on the second peak (scroll down for some particularly damp photos!), treacherous drops, blisters, cramp and broken walking boots (not to mention a lack of phone signal). By lunchtime – over 6 hours in – Team Oomph! was tired, sore and ready to eat our bodyweight in cake provided by the organisers. At the third peak, around 8 hours in, we’d set a nearly impossible pace and could barely speak to each other. Coming in just under 10 hours, we finished with a run to the line and it was all over – we’d never been more deserving of the cold pint and fish and chips devoured at the pub afterwards.

Whilst gruelling, we couldn’t have been walking and climbing for a more worthy cause, and the day provided a great opportunity to meet a wide range of incredible people from the sector, from suppliers to care workers themselves. So far, we’ve raised over £1100 for the Care Workers Charity, but there’s still time to donate here – every pound goes some way in helping care workers in their time of need.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s now talk of Team Oomph! tackling the national 3 Peaks next, so perhaps you should watch this space…

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