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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”

By Care Home, Community No Comments

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

By Care Home, Community No Comments

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

By Care Home, Community No Comments

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

How To Dance Your Way To Better Wellbeing

By Care Home, Community No Comments

”The dance is over, the applause subsided, but the joy and feeling will stay with you forever.”

Jack McKechnie, our expert Lead Wellbeing Coordinator, talks us through the five steps to wellbeing, and practical advice for how you can introduce these in your care setting through the medium of dance…

Be Active

Be active by ensuring regular dance sessions are available and provide variation by introducing new dance routines. For example, line dancing inspiration can be found here.

Be active by introducing a new warm up to your sessions!

Be active by providing opportunities to progress, perhaps starting with simple dance routines, and then progressing into more difficult routines. Make sure you praise achievements!

Give To Others

Give to others by providing regular dance themed entertainment and encouraging participants to share their suggestions. For example, a ballet performance by the Royal Opera House would provide a wonderful evening of entertainment, find one here.

Give to others by awarding each other certificates for participation in dance sessions. A simple certificate for their contribution to a session would fill someone with joy and a sense of achievement.

Give to others by encouraging them to create their own dance props in creative craft sessions. These could make wonderful gifts. For inspiration look at a how to make a dance ribbon here.

Connect

Connect with family, linking up through video calls to enable them to watch and join in with dance sessions.

Connect people by creating a dance themed club, this will not only encourage continuity but also promote friendships!

Connect with participants and encourage competition by creating your own dance themed leader board! You could make this in a craft sessions. This can change weekly depending on your scoring system!

Keep Learning

Keep learning by educating participants on the names of specific dance steps!

Keep learning by researching different dance cultures from around the world, get started here.

Keep learning by finding interesting information about the History of Dance, we’ve found a video that is a great place to start here.

Be Mindful

Encourage mindfulness by asking participants to focus on their thoughts and feelings during dance routines and discuss this afterwards.

Experience mindfulness before or after a session by promoting gentle breathing exercises.

Play gentle, flowing music and ask participants to follow the flow of the music with their bodies, therefore creating their own mindful dance routine. They might want to move their whole bodies or just their hands, it doesn’t matter as long as they follow the music!

We have lots of resources, videos and dance inspiration for care providers on Oomph! On Demand. To find out more about our new digital platform, email us here.

A Quick And Easy Introduction To Line Dancing

By Care Home, Community No Comments

Line dancing is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which people dance in lines or rows, all at the same time. It is said to have originated from historical Folk dances.

Jack McKechnie, our expert Lead Wellbeing Coordinator, talks us through the steps and how you can implement this in your care setting…

Did you know?

The dance was created by American dancer Ric Silver in the 1970’s.

Try it out…

The grapevine is a four step travelling movement. Each step can be counted as 1,2,3, and 4. This is then repeated the opposite way, therefore adding up to 8 steps. Each step can then follow the 8 beats to the song.

Traveling to the right side or to the left side (you can start either way), it is surprisingly simple! Just follow these steps:

  1. Right foot steps to the right
  2. Left foot crosses behind the right one
  3. Right foot steps to the right
  4. Left foot closes to the left side of the right foot

Then repeat the opposite way, following the 8 beats!

Adaptation: The beauty of line dancing means that an individual can perform the steps either seated or standing. If you have a participant who is nursed in bed, why not adapt the routines so that they follow a range of hand movements instead! This will therefore make the activity inclusive to all.

Not sure about the steps? Use the graphic below from LineDance4You to help!

The benefits

Line dancing is a fantastic form of exercise, especially for older adults. It provides an abundance of benefits, including aerobic workouts which help maintain the functional capacity of the heart. It also offers a great platform for social interaction – perfect for mental wellbeing.

During unprecedented times, Oomph! are keen to support with stimulating and varied content for older adults. As part of this, we are releasing resources based on our Oomph! skills workshops.

You can download the PDF of this resource here.

 

To find out more about our new virtual resources and support programme, email us 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! 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

Outstanding Oomphers! at Cherry Tree Court

By Community

Following a recent exercise training session, Cherry Tree Court, a Together Housing scheme, has seen some great physical, mental and emotional benefits for residents. Our Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Stefan, tells us more and speaks to the team at the scheme…

Earlier this year I delivered refresher training at Cherry Tree Court for Together Housing – it was a fantastic two days. On the training, a gentleman who lives at the scheme, called Mark, sat and watched. Staff explained that Mark chose not to participate in many activities.

Upon completion of the course, the team were awarded certificates and t-shirts, and throughout this Mark looked on and asked if he could have a t-shirt. I challenged Mark to take part in 8 Oomph! sessions to earn himself his own t-shirt!

At the end of August, the team emailed me to confirm that Mark has succeeded in taking part in 8 Oomph! sessions and was looking forward to receiving his t-shirt! Mark has a spine injury and since regularly taking part in Oomph!, he feels day to day tasks are beginning to feel easier.

Cherry Tree Court now have 2 Oomph! sessions taking place every week. The residents who attend have a mixture of different abilities and are really dedicated to attending. The sessions involve armchair movements, sporting games and line dancing. The instructors, Michael and Caroline enjoy delivering Oomph! sessions and are thrilled with everyone’s determination. I sat down with Caroline to see what she thought.

“What do your residents enjoy most about your Oomph! sessions?”

Caroline: “The music creates a great atmosphere and the group are very friendly and welcoming to each other. I think the residents enjoy the hummer (banter) they have with us and each other, as well as getting active.”

“How have your residents improved since you began the exercise sessions?”

Caroline: “Some of the people who attend Oomph! have started to do their own activities outside of the sessions and have recently completed a walk for Alzheimer’s Society. Residents are surprised by how active they can be! One of the ladies who attends Oomph! has arthritis and says the day after Oomph! her pain is reduced and if she misses a session, the pain is worse.”

Socially, it’s great to see people who come to Oomph! socialising with people who don’t often come down to the living area. Oomph! helps people to branch into other social activities taking place in Cherry Tree. Socialising at Oomph! has inspired people to sign up to a befriending scheme.”

 

To find out more about Oomph!, get in touch at hello@oomph-wellness.org, or to find out more about Together Housing please click here 

Exciting research project to investigate Oomph! effect

By Community

Introducing… Shiva Shangari Manoharan

We are excited to be match funding a PhD studentship with Bournemouth University. This will investigate the physical and psychological effects of Oomph! in older adults. More details are coming soon, but in the meantime, let us tell you a bit more about Shiva, the student who has been chosen to carry out the research…

A registered nurse striving to enhance healthcare one step at a time. She was born in Singapore and later graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Nursing. After graduating, she pursued her nursing career in Singapore and UK. In line with her great passion for the profession, she has great interest in research and believes that research drives change in our environment. To further her knowledge in research, she studied in King’s College London where she graduated with a Master of Science in Implementation and Improvement Science.

She is currently embarking on an exciting PhD studentship that is match funded by Bournemouth University and Oomph!. This PhD aims to investigate the physical and psychological effects of the Oomph! intervention in older adults living in care homes in the UK. This is a crucial project as studies show that a large number of older adults living in care homes lead a sedentary lifestyle. The Oomph! intervention focuses on not only keeping the care home residents physically active but also gives equal importance to their psychosocial health. The ultimate goal of the Oomph! intervention would be that care home residents have a good quality of life. This programme of work represents a new collaboration between Bournemouth University (Professor Jane Murphy), Solent University and ukactive (Dr James Steele), Royal Bournemouth Hospital (Dr Divya Tiwari), and Oomph! (Ms. Parita Doshi).

“As a registered nurse with Masters in Implementation and Improvement Science, I am eager to develop my research knowledge and skills at a Doctoral level. The exciting aspect of this would be meeting and working with older people in the community.”