Category

Out and about

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!”

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!

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…

From Cat Cafes to Gin Distilleries: One Year of Out & About

By | Care Home, Out and about

With every life change, we reach new milestones and new circumstances are thrust upon us. In early adulthood, most milestones are an opportunity to interact with new people; we land our first job, move to a new house or gain a place at university.

As we get older, our life changes naturally limit our opportunity to socialise; we retire, we stop driving, our children move out. The potential to slow down on social activities and new experiences as we age is apparent, but it shouldn’t be the reality.

Remaining socially active and maintaining community relationships supports us all to maintain good physical and emotional health. Research suggests that participating in meaningful social activities enhances brain health, lowers the risk of high blood pressure and even lowers the risk of dementia.

May 2018 marked a year since we launched our trips service – designed to break down the barrier between care homes and the outside world.  The service provides regular meaningful outings, supporting older adults to maintain social activities – nurturing existing community relations and building new ones.

In just a year we have seen our reach increase exponentially:

  • We now run 5 x more trips a month than when we started
  • Our fleet of buses has expanded from 3 to 13 (and still counting!)
  • We’ve taken 7000 residents on 2000+ trips, and created countless smiles

Our conductors are the essence of Oomph!, delivering inclusive and interactive trips tailored to the interests and needs of any group of individuals. Neil Thomson, our Devon conductor, gives an insight into the impact getting out and about has:

“On a recent visit to Plymouth Hoe, we had a swimming enthusiast who mentioned she hadn’t been in the water in years. Given she had already swum the channel, we couldn’t let the opportunity slip for her to have a paddle… 96 is never too old for a dip! It’s wonderful to see residents getting out of the home and re-engaging in their hobbies and interests.”

From Cat Cafes to gin distilleries, we’ve seen the incredible benefits that trips have, from enhancing mood and wellbeing to reigniting individual passions our impact remains our driving force. Furthermore, our increasing presence in the wider community has raised the profile of Oomph!, positioning us as a credible partner for the likes of HQ theatres and The National Trust.

We have had a wonderful year empowering older adults to get out and about – creating wonderful memories and new experiences. We look forward to furthering our impact as we grow… About to place 5 new buses on the road and with plans to expand our fleet by a further 16 buses by March 2019.

Be sure to give us a wave if you see us on the road (you can’t miss us!)…

For more information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org

 

Sources:

https://www.agrhodes.org/blog-post/older-adults-and-the-importance-of-social-interaction/

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/staying-sharp/looking-after-your-thinking-skills/social-connections-and-the-brain/

Borough Care Residents Get Out And About With Oomph!

By | Care Home, Out and about

We are now partnering with Borough Care, the largest not for profit provider of care for older people in Stockport, to provide its residents with more day trips out to destinations further afield. Borough Care will work with us to offer residents regular visits to places of interest.

Each of Borough Care’s eleven homes will participate in one Oomph! trip each month. Recent trips have included a day at the seaside in Blackpool, a chance to see the animals at Chester Zoo and a visit to Knowsley Safari Park.

Commenting on the Oomph! partnership, Sophie Gardiner, Area Support at Borough Care, says: “At Borough Care, we believe people should continue to do the things they love and that a person’s life shouldn’t come to a standstill when they move to a care home. We are committed to providing a wide range of activities, to ensure our residents live an enriched life and are able to participate in everything they wish. The link up with Oomph! offers people the chance to get out and about in a safe environment.”

Matt Hamblin, Senior Business Manager at Oomph!, says: “We are excited to partner with Borough Care, to ensure that all residents live a full life for life. Research shows there are proven health and wellbeing benefits of continuing to get outdoors as you get older so we are delighted to be able to provide this service for Borough Care residents.”

The health and wellbeing benefits to Borough Care residents participating in the Oomph! trips include: the excitement of doing something different; the opportunity to reminisce by revisiting places they may not have visited for many years; improving relationships with fellow residents through shared experiences; and spending more time outdoors in the fresh air, which is beneficial to both a person’s physical and mental health.

Getting outdoors to tackle social isolation head on

By | Care Home, Out and about

This year, on the 21st April, Care Home Open Day will be held in thousands of homes across the country for the 6th year running.

The theme of this year is ‘Linking Communities’ and is meant to help homes build relationships with local people and organisations, and – whilst there are clearly benefits to be had by increasing the number of visitors to care homes – I hope that an equal outcome will be that residents of care homes across the country feel closer and better connected to the communities around them as result.

Since I started working in care homes 6 years ago, I have always been aware of the number of barriers faced when supporting residents to stay connected to the communities around their homes. The reasons for this isolation in care might be a lack of transport, fear of leaving a safe environment or more simply, a lack of knowledge of accessible places to go and things that can be done there.

A 2013 study called Greening Dementia found that, whilst only 20% of people living with dementia considered their condition to be a barrier to using outdoor spaces, 83% of care staff believed that dementia limited the person’s ability to do so. This suggests that we aren’t simply facing logistical barriers, but also the misperceptions of those directly delivering care. And so, it is important that we not only provide ways and means of getting out and about, but that we also have a responsibility to raise awareness as to why it’s so vital.

Research has showed that spending as little as 5 minutes in nature, sometimes referred to as ‘a dose of nature’, can be good for health and wellbeing, and – whilst most people would accept that staying indoors for extended periods of time is bad for your health – knowing some of the true benefits that come with adventuring away from of the care environment is something we should all be able to talk about. Benefits such as:

  • A chance for spontaneous social encounters that aren’t possible without leaving the four walls of the home.
  • Opportunities to reminisce by encountering places, smells or sounds that might not have been revisited in a long time.
  • Improved relationships within the home, through shared experiences and personal discoveries, leading to greater empathy through care.
  • Better orientation with nature and the seasons for those who struggle to remember specific times and dates.

Have a look to see if any homes in your area are opening their doors this weekend, and if you’ve already been invited to visit a home this Care Home Open Day, then make sure you return the favour! Let residents and staff know about other community events they could attend or offer to join them as a volunteer on their next outing away from the home.

For more information, please email benjamin@oomph-wellness.org

New Care adds Oomph! to its activities programmes

By | Care Home, Out and about

Fast growing care home operator, New Care, is adding extra ‘oomph’ to its already outstanding daily wellbeing and activities programmes.

The forward thinking care provider has teamed up with us to enhance mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. All New Care homes now have a number of specially trained in-house Oomphers who deliver the complete Oomph! programme for residents including exercise classes, one-to-one sessions and regular meaningful days out.

Offering many benefits including a reduction in isolation and improved social interaction, mental stimulation and physical mobility, the programme has been exceptionally well received and is now a firm favourite with residents in all homes, who look forward to the daily and weekly classes and exciting excursions.

Chief operating officer at New Care, Cath Fairhurst, commented: “Oomph! is all about making the residents happy and providing them with enjoyment and opportunities to socialise while promoting health and wellbeing. Our residents look forward to the Oomph! sessions and we usually have a full room for every class.

“We’ve even seen a huge difference in some residents who did not participate before we introduced Oomph!; it has significantly improved their quality of life and they are regulars at the classes and first to sign up for the days out which is great.”

A resident said: “Oomph! is wonderful, it’s something different every day so we never know what to expect. One day we’re dancing to music with scarves and pom poms and the next day we’re on a day trip to the seaside! It’s all thoroughly enjoyable, well organised and brings us all together for good fun.”

 

For more information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org

Driving innovation in care

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

Hosted by the newly formed Department for Health and Social Care, Monday 19th March marked the final of the Care Innovation Challenge – a challenge created to bring young minds with new and innovative solutions to pre-defined sector challenges.

Only a few months ago we (Ben Wilkins, Ashish Goyal, Alex Ramamurthy and myself) launched the challenge for the care sector. We hosted 20 University students for a hackathon weekend in February, put six teams through to the Final and supported those teams with mentorship for the 4 weeks leading up to the final. The CIC Final was held at the Department of Health and Social Care and Hassan Zaidi’s Tumble Alert (http://tumblealert.com/) was chosen as the winner by our expert panel of judges (Avnish Goyal, David Brindle, Charlotte Bright, Vic Rayner, Martin Jones, Annie Webber MHA Annie Webber, and Albert Chong). Hassan has now secured funding from UnLtd to launch his business.

As a sector, social care has more employees and more beds than the NHS and provides the essential services and support to enable older adults in the UK to live independent, fulfilled and dignified lives but historically has struggled with the adoption of innovation. Often described as the valley of doom, the gap between ideation and market adoption is often just too big to bridge and many wonderful, life enhancing solutions never see the light of day. I hope that the Care Innovation Challenge will help bridge this gap.

I wouldn’t pretend that I’m a specialist researcher – or an expert, or a regulator – but, as a relatively layperson, I expect to see a seismic shift as residents (and family members) entering the sector will expect a whole lot more from social care, driving the sector to an entirely new place. In my short time in the sector I have seen a lot of change (not always good), I have seen luxury care home providers grow exponentially, whilst also seeing the direct results of funding cuts in services which are mainly local authority funded – the gap between the two is frightening.

Additionally there has been the launch of a multitude of different technology platforms promising to enhance care, reduce admin, care hours and costs. As the sector continues to develop, I foresee a convergence of the market with domiciliary care, day care, residential care and possibly sheltered housing becoming tightly integrated, often under one roof. I personally see this as one of the most exciting opportunities for disruptive change, ultimately leading to a person-centred approach, rather than a fragmented and disjointed experience.

I hope, like many in the care sector, the work we are doing at Oomph! helps to ensure that everyone (regardless of setting) enjoys a ‘full life for life’.

Ben Allen, CEO, Oomph! Wellness

To learn more, please contact:

ben@oomph-wellness.org
lisat@oomph-wellness.org

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

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.”

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