Wellbeing of care home residents who pursue their passions

July 28, 2017

“Let’s leave crocheting to the hipsters” - Big leaps in the wellbeing of care home residents who pursue their passions

While news reports in recent weeks have shown the variability of standards within the UK care home sector, close to 90% of residents participating in outings and activity sessions run by Oomph! trained staff have demonstrated a significant improvement in mood, sociability and mental stimulation.

With the right support, older people are rediscovering and pursuing passions such as motor racing, cocktail making or playing musical instruments, and are feeling fitter than ever.

Even the oldest care home residents are making friends and more fully engaging in life, after previously rarely interacting with others at their home.

Highlights from the organisation’s new Annual Impact Report 2016/17 include:

  • 88% of care home residents using Oomph!’s excursion service ‘Out & About’ are reporting improved mood on trips and 83% of staff said residents were more engaged in other activities after going on trips
  • Exercise and activities for those in care and community settings, run by staff trained by Oomph!, have seen 84% of participants experience a significant improvement in mental stimulation, and 85% in social interactions
  • 68% of participants doing activity and fitness sessions have seen a positive impact on physical mobility with improved everyday living skills. Oomph! instructors ran 59,575 Oomph! classes in the past 12 months, a 56% increase from last year

In an age of increased focus on wellbeing and of opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to follow their true passions in life, Oomph! Is making sure older adults don't get left behind.

Speaking about Oomph!’s Annual Impact Report 2016/17, Ben Allen founder and CEO of the organisation, says:

"Our vision is a world in which older adults live life in full colour, and key to this is ensuring people get to do things they genuinely want to do every day and have the physical ability and confidence to do them. In particular, we all know how vital regular trips out are to wellbeing and I’m delighted that this summer we have trips running daily across the UK to venues as diverse as safari parks, art galleries, castles, aquariums and even distilleries. Let’s leave crocheting to the hipsters and focus on what people most want to be doing."

Laura Marston, activity coordinator at Berehill House care home in Basingstoke says residents “Don’t necessarily want to sit and crochet a tea cosy.”

“A lot of my residents enjoy drinking gin and we run cocktail classes and make gin ice lollies in the home. One of my residents Eve used to travel a lot and said when she lived in Malaysia she always used to pick up gin from the market. She wanted to go to a gin distillery to see how her favourite drink is made so we recently all went to Bombay Sapphire, with the support of the Oomph! Foundation.”

Speaking about the transformative effect of continuing to pursue lifelong passions Lesley Wheal, Activity Co-ordinator at Wickmeads Care Home in Bournemouth explains:

“One of our residents loves to play the mouth organ. He always has the mouth organ in his pocket and plays it when he feels like it, but until now has not played a complete tune.

There was a really special moment for him during a visit from the Rock Choir. He started to play in front of them, so the choir asked which songs he knew. He played three whole songs whilst the choir of 30 sang along. His wife was so proud and at the end he received a standing ovation from everyone in the room including the choir. It was a really empowering moment for him and since that day it has given his self-esteem a real boost.”

Highlighting the critical interplay between mind, body and soul Lorraine Anderson, Activity Co-ordinator at St Margaret's in Camden, London, tells the story of May, a 91 year old resident who had never really communicated with other residents or joined in with activities until she was persuaded to join in Oomph! exercise sessions:

“She is a lot calmer, sits with other residents and starts conversations. Her emotional state is better and she is much happier. From coming along to regular Oomph! sessions she has been moving her fingers and legs more too.

Her enthusiasm and greater flexibility has spread to other areas of her life. May has arthritis in her fingers and now she is starting to play the piano! It is incredibly rewarding to see May come out of her shell and trust more.”

For more information or to view the report in full click here.

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