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Oomph! throws a virtual lifeline to care home residents battling loneliness and inactivity

  • Exercise classes and activities to be beamed into care homes
  • Sport England, Arthritis Action and Boccia England are among partners working with social enterprise Oomph! to reach tens of thousands of older adults
  • New Oomph! On Demand service tackles lockdown loneliness and inactivity
  • Endorsed by Care England and National Care Forum

National sports associations, leisure attractions and wellbeing experts are lending their support to the world’s first on demand, holistic lifestyle and exercise service for care homes which has already gone live in more than 200 UK ‘early adopter’ care homes.

Created by Oomph!, the UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults, Oomph! On Demand will be streamed into UK care homes as part of the social enterprise’s mission to enhance the minds, bodies and souls of care home residents, particularly during lockdown.

  • Oomph! On Demand’s launch offering includes:
  • Sports sessions such as slipper soccer and seated volleyball, designed with national sports bodies including Volleyball England, Boccia UK and the English Cricket Board
  • Exercise activities adapted for different health conditions with experts from Arthritis Action and the University of Exeter
  • Language lessons with Lingo Flamingo, an expert organisation who make language learning accessible for all and improve the lives of those living with dementia.
  • A newly commissioned comedy performance about Henry VIII
  • Singalongs, music therapy sessions, drama workshops, virtual tours of stunning landscapes, cookery inspiration and how to craft activities
  • The service will also increase the audience for nature workshops developed previously with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Oomph!’s specialist wellbeing instructors have played a key role in the creation of content and are adding many new activities each week. Care home staff and residents will be able to select activities according to their desired wellbeing goal or personal interests.

The project is being championed by Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care and the National Care Forum, the membership body for not for profit care providers. The development of the online platform and ongoing schedule of activity has been made possible through funding from Sport England and UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs.

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England said:  “Care England is delighted to support Oomph! on Demand. This great new platform is really innovative and it is also well tailored to life during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.  We know that activities and exercise are so important for all and it’s exciting to have a means to bring such energy to all care homes up and down the country”.

Forest Healthcare’s 13 Care Homes have been using the new platform. Its CEO Amanda Scott said:  “Engagement in meaningful activities for our residents is critical. Oomph! has allowed us to continue unhindered through the most difficult of circumstances when other traditional activities have not been possible. This partnership with Oomph! is pivotal in enhancing the lives of our residents.”

Many new clients, including Healthcare Homes Group’s 45 homes, have come to Oomph! in recent weeks to sign up for On Demand. In order to meet the needs of care homes during lockdown and beyond, Oomph! has pivoted from its core services of day trips and face to face training for care home staff. The new online model and pricing have already increased the reach of its wellbeing activities.

The project has been spearheaded by Steve Gardner, Wellbeing Director, Oomph! on Demand, a qualified personal trainer who also delivers an array of motivational seated exercise sessions on the platform. He said:

“Care home residents are losing out on so much including the chance to see family members and to take outings. We have sharpened our focus on the life affirming things that older adults can still do. On Demand is a no-brainer for enhancing quality of life in every care home in the UK. We’re working closely with care home residents to ensure we are catering for every conceivable taste.”

Oomph! on Demand is available to care homes for unlimited use at £95/month.  Discounts are available to members of the National Care Forum and Care England.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum said:  “Oomph! has once again shown their excellence in innovation by bringing their resources and support online through Oomph! On Demand. Covering their range of engaging activity ideas, exercise inspiration and training tools all in one easy to navigate platform, Oomph! On Demand provides a whole world of wellbeing resources and support, whenever you need it. NCF has consistently raised the role of digital innovation and is excited to offer discounted access as a benefit of membership.”

Alongside the content hub, a training platform offering e-learning courses and virtual practical assessments will go live in December. Oomph!’s Training on Demand will offer courses on exercise leadership and the planning and delivery of activities  as well as upskilling workshops covering topics such as sports, nature and drama, which are even more relevant when outside entertainers are unable to provide meaningful engagement in homes.

For enquiries, interview or filming requests or to request a live demo of Oomph! On Demand please contact (07711 818 496) or (07848 380 394).

Interviews and quotes from care home residents, HQ Theatres, care home providers and sector leaders are available on request.

Oomph! is the UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults, to enhance mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Through innovative exercise and activity solutions, Oomph! drive to positively change the impact of ageing with a clear proposition of a ‘Full Life for Life’. Whatever your passion, interest and physical ability their team of dedicated experts work with you to enjoy life… you have one life, so let’s give it some Oomph!

Information on loneliness and older adults

  • Numerous surveys and studies have shown older people, in particular care home residents, suffering increased levels of loneliness, anxiety and stress during the pandemic, especially during lockdowns.
  • This can have consequences for a person’s health. One study has argued that it is as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
  • Depression affects 40% of older people in care homes
  • Only 7% of adults over the age of 75 years meet the minimum required level of physical activity for health benefits
  • Care home residents on average spend only two minutes a day participating in meaningful social interaction

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