Oomph Active Adults

Oomph Active Adults

To enhance the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of older & vulnerable adults in Birmingham through exercise in the community.

We did it!

On 16th Mar 2018 we successfully raised £10,000 of £10,000 target with 20 supporters in 60 days

We want to make exercise a side-effect of a great time!

Sport Birmingham is working with the social enterprise organisation, Oomph! to ensure that older and vulnerable adults in Birmingham live life to the full.  We believe that physical activity should be a habit to be enjoyed by adults living in the community, delivered in familiar places, by familiar people.

Encouraging inactive older adults to become more active is a challenge.  As you get older, you’re far more likely to be inactive and do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.  The reasons for this are broad, but include factors such as:

  • Social influences
  • Physical limitations
  • Competing priorities
  • Access difficulties
  • Personal beliefs of physical activity
  • Motivation and beliefs 

Across Birmingham, on average 60.6% of citizens aged 65+ have their activities limited a little/lot by long term health problems.  This audience is also growing in numbers as people are living longer.  For example, the number of people aged 65 and over living alone in Birmingham is predicted to increase by around 3,000 (7.5%) by 2020.

Regular exercise amongst older adults has been proven to:

  • Improve mobility and independent living
  • Reduce frailty and falls
  •  Delay onset of – and manage symptoms of - dementia
  • Combat depression and boost mood

By making exercise different, themed and versatile where partner-work, socialising, games and fun are at the core of the activity, people keep coming back because they love it.  Exercise is merely the side-effect!

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Getting older adults more active in their communities:

The aim of the Oomph Active Adults project will be to partner with organisations who are experts in working with older and vulnerable people; such as retirement living operators, sheltered housing providers, disability charities or day care centres in order to provide accredited training for staff to deliver fun, inclusive and person-centered activities.

Through Sport Birmingham's existing network of community partners, there will also be the opportunity to take classes to where people either live or go to regularly already; utilising underused community spaces where older adults live/congregate, such as churches, community halls and libraries.

The outcomes for the regular weekly sessions are to encourage a positive change in the mindset and habits of older and vulnerable adults in order to improve lifestyle factors, such as:

  • Personal wellbeing
  • Independence & physical mobility
  • A sense of purpose
  • Mental stimulation
  • Social interaction

Getting adults active....and keeping them active!

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Instructor Training:

The training is aimed at people without prior knowledge of physical activity but with experience of interacting with older people or those with impairments on a regular basis. We will train 1-3 people per venue, including staff, volunteers or residents (allowing the class delivery to be shared).  The training is a mix of theory and practical application that enables the learner to deliver a range of games and sessions to older adults.   It involves a two-day session followed up by refreshers throughout the year, and focuses on:

  • Understanding the importance and effects of physical activity for older people
  • How to be a safe exercise leader
  • How to deliver inspiring, varied and personalised sessions
  • How to create & adapt classes to meet any needs
  • How to motivate people to attend and keep coming

 So far Oomph! has trained over 1,500 Oomph! Instructors in care and community settings to have the skills, knowledge and confidence to plan, manage and deliver a wide range of exercise and activity programmes.

For an example of what an Oomph! session training looks like click here.

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“My daily life has improved from coming to the classes”

“We had one lady who never used to leave her room and I got her to come along to a session, she hasn't missed one since”

“A family commented that a physio had seen improvement in a resident's walking ability thanks to Oomph!”

“The whole home comes together for the sessions. This has been really good for the team to meet a wider range of residents and build relationships across the home”

“The attendees really like the music and just having a giggle!”

In addition to the accredited training, instructors will also receive materials, equipment and ongoing support from Sport Birmingham to help to identify other local clubs or groups if the adults attending Oomph classes would like to go on to do more.   This will include facilitating links to local sports & community bodies that offer dedicated sessions for older and/or vulnerable adults to be active, which will further support these individuals to lead more independent and integrated lives in the community.

How we will demonstrate impact:

An Oomph! class lasts between 45-60 mins.  Most Instructors lead 2-4 classes a week, working out an average of 3-6 hours put towards Oomph classes a week.

To measure how Oomph exercise impacts the quality of life, health and wellbeing of participants, information will be collected before and after 3-5 months of exercise.

We will map measurements along CQCs key lines of enquiry to ensure it is a ‘gold standard’ of evidence, and provide quarterly reports for all our venues so they can track the impact Oomph! has on their clients and members of their community.

Quality of life will be measured using the EuroQol five dimensions (EQ5D), a high validated and robust research tool that reflects improvements in mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. 

A self-reported 5-point score will also be used in order to asses how coming to Oomph! classes make participants feel in 5 key areas:  alertness, connectedness, mobility, healthiness and happiness.

In addition to the above, we will also assess participants mobility and ability to complete a 'Get up and Go' 6 meter walk after 3 months-5 months, and a functional 'Sit to Stand' test designed to test a persons ability to stand up and sit down in a 30 second time period. 

Making Oomph Active Adults Happen!

The steps of the project will look to:

  • Identify the suitable host venues for new Oomph! classes to take place 
  • Recruit instructions to be trained and schedule a series of 2-day courses
  • Provide the equipment to deliver sessions that involve both seated and standing exercise and sports with adaptations of traditional sports
  • Supply a tablet computer per instructor which provides ‘how-to-guides’ for high quality sessions (including new games, movements and sports) and is also to be used to collect session data 
  • Provide monthly resources packs 
  • Schedule face-to-face support from Sport Birmingham staff 

Funding model for Instructors (sustainability plan)

The model for Oomph! Community ensures that classes are affordable and operate at a surplus for a sustainable model of local exercise:

  • Oomph! sessions will be delivered by instructors in pre-determined centres or community locations
  • Participants pay a nominal fee (£1 - £3) to attend classes
  • Gross profit generated at every class for local community centers 
  • Surplus can be used to generate more positive impact and incorporate wider music, arts and additional social elements, such as refreshments
  • Over time, the programme aims to help combat the economic burden of treating the decline in health of older and inactive people, creating longer-term cost savings in health & social care.

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How the funding will be spent:

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Exercise is essential throughout life. Whatever your age being physically active leads to a healthier and happier existence!


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