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Care Home

Oomph! supports the Care Innovation Challenge

By Care Home, Community, Out and about

The care sector currently faces a multitude of challenges, presenting problems which are only due to worsen with an ageing population.

We want to find some answers.

This is why Oomph! are supporting the Care Innovation Challenge, a competition designed to kick start new ideas and solutions for the care sector through inviting students from a range of disciplines to think broadly on ways to create positive change. There’s still time to apply to take part here.

Taking place on the 17th – 18th February, teams will spend 2 days at our HQ in Wimbledon, where there will be intensive ideas generation, development and prototyping. All teams will present to judges from the care sector on the Sunday afternoon, where the top five teams will be supported with four intense weeks of mentoring and funding to test and trial their project and newly forming business.

The top five teams will return to Oomph! HQ on Saturday 17th of March to present their work and findings where ideas and people will be matched with funding and pilot opportunities.

Ben Allen, Oomph!’s CEO, said:

“The care sector will be responsible for the health, wellbeing and quality of life of an increasing number of older adults in the decades ahead. In order to undertake this challenge we need great ideas and innovation from dynamic and driven people who build mission-led organisations that create positive change.”

For more information, please visit www.careinnovationchallenge.com

Everyone’s talking wellbeing in care… but how do you drive business success and truly differentiate?

By Care Home

Wellbeing’s become a bit of a buzzword in the care sector these days – but it’s not just great for residents to focus on wellbeing, it’s also good for your business:

    • Great PR – Benefits for residents from activities or interesting initiatives are a primary way to get a positive news story for a home
    • Attractive to prospective clients – Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society rank ‘social life and activities’ in the top 5 criteria when choosing a care home
    • Supports your CQC rating – Care partners’ ratings have improved due to a well planned activity and exercise programme for residents.
    • Reduces care costs – Inactivity and low levels of engagement lead to loss of physical function and poor quality of life (NICE, 2013)
    • Increases staff retention and supports recruitment – there are 90,000 social care job vacancies in England (Skills for Care), so to make vacancies more appealing and retain staff, providing a vibrant and positive wellbeing-based culture is essential

However, wellbeing in care is constantly evolving and driving innovation in the sector.

Here are some of the TOP TRENDS that are at the forefront of wellbeing success:

Community Partnerships – particularly intergenerational – are providing essential social interaction opportunities: Homes are now running Dementia Friends sessions for schools, creating family support groups and hosting activity spaces – such as Mums & Tots, or Knit & Natter.

Smart use of Technology: Technology can create person-centred experiences so that residents are still able to enjoy events using virtual reality tours and bringing experiences to them. Furthermore, care and activity planning software is enabling staff to improve support via instant access to information.

Getting Outdoors more: Accessible, usable outdoor space is becoming essential. Regular outings are now in high demand – in 7 months our Oomph! Out & About service is already taking 1000+ residents out each month! Residents and their families are seeking engaging and culturally relevant experiences to enjoy beyond the home environment.

Providing Resident Ownership: This prompts a sense of purpose and achievement, whilst keeping minds and bodies active. Examples of this within our partner homes include an ex-librarian resident running a mobile library in the home for others, and a resident becoming chairman of the Resident Committee, with high engagement and peer-to-peer interaction.

A wellbeing culture in the care environment provides a true quality of life for elderly residents, enhanced job satisfaction for staff and a benchmark for business success.

To learn more, please contact parita@oomph-wellness.org

Photo: Park View Care Home, First Care Homes

Balhousie puts some Oomph! into its care homes with innovative partnership

By Care Home, Out and about

We are excited to be working with award-winning care home group Balhousie to put some Oomph! into the sector, making them the first organisation in Scotland to sign up to an activity programme with a difference. Balhousie Care Group operates 25 care homes in Scotland, and has linked up with us to deliver engaging exercise and activity programmes for residents.

Our mission is to improve the wellbeing of older adults, and we will work with Balhousie’s 25 care homes, offering fun exercise and activity sessions, as well as monthly trips out for residents, to a wide range of destinations in customised minibuses. The trips are personalised and include intensive training by Oomph! staff within each care home.

The collaboration is the latest move in Balhousie Care Group’s mission to be a trailblazer in the care home sector, delivering individualised care for residents. The Perth-based group has been tackling issues such as dementia and loneliness in innovative ways, from virtual reality technology to therapy with pets. Balhousie also ensures that its residents and family members have a say in their care, and care strategy.

Oomph! has already been delivering services in England with great success, set up by founder Ben Allen – a specialist in exercise for older adults – after he realised a gap in the market for providing better adult social care.

Louise Barnett, Operations Director for Balhousie Care, said:
“We’re delighted to be the pioneers of Oomph! programmes in Scotland, and the innovative ways they promote fitness and wellness. We know our residents will benefit hugely from Oomph!’s activities. This organisation’s philosophies are very much in line with ours, which are to look at care and wellness in unorthodox, exciting ways.”

Ben Allen, Chief Executive for Oomph!, said:
“Oomph! are excited to have the opportunity to work with the team at Balhousie, one of the leading care groups in the UK. It is a privilege to be a key partner and support their drive for innovation and excellence across all homes. We share the same values and entrepreneurial spirit and are delighted to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident’s activities.”

Sam has got the Oomph! Factor

By Care Home

Congratulations to 88-year-old Belong Warrington resident, Sam Clark, who has been crowned winner of our Oomph! Factor competition! The Oomph! Factor competition is a nationwide competition that focuses on finding enthusiastic participants who have had mental, social and/or physical benefits from their Oomph! sessions in care homes and communities across the UK, and Sam most certainly wowed the judges with his achievements.

Sam was presented with his trophy at a special ceremony at Belong Warrington which was attended by Oomph! representatives and featured a personalised broadcast news report by ITV Sports Editor Steve Scott, who judged the competition. Alongside his closest friends and family, Sam experienced a themed Oomph! session focussed around one of his all-time favourite artists, Frank Sinatra. To further celebrate his victory in style, we paid for Sam and his family to watch ‘The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular’ show at Crewe Lyceum Theatre.

“It’s wonderful to see the positive impact that Oomph! is having on Sam’s general wellbeing and we are thrilled that his commitment has been recognised with this award.”
– Lisa McLaughlin, Activities Co-ordinator at Belong Warrington

Oomph! sessions are run twice a week at Belong Warrington and improve flexibility, social interaction and mental stimulation for older people through chair-based exercise to music with the use of stimulating props such as pom-poms and batons.

Our Oomph! Factor competition sought to find the most enthusiastic Oomphers in the country. Candidates we’re put forward and narrowed down and after a difficult decision making process, judges chose Sam from Belong Warrington as the winner as he truly is an Oomph!-fanatic. Sam never misses an Oomph! session and is always the first person to arrive to ensure he gets the best seat. After a fall in 2016, Sam lost much of his mobility, but since attending regular Oomph! sessions and a tailor made Belong Warrington exercise studio programme, Sam is back to being the life and soul of the party and lives an active lifestyle.

“We never have to encourage him to come to the sessions, in fact, he always reminds us early in the day and actually helps us to encourage other residents along too!”
– Lisa McLaughlin, Activities Co-ordinator at Belong Warrington