Losing weight, gaining pride
Winning last year’s Nursing Times Award for Nursing in Social Care has been an incredible experience for us. Our project began with a small number of our care home residents who wanted to lose weight and be more active.
When we began, we had no idea the positive impact it would have, not only on our residents but also on staff. During the original programme our residents were all excited to learn, cook and get involved with the physical activities.
The best part of this programme was listening to our residents talking about the programme with each other and our staff. Seeing the pride beaming from them was amazing. They felt part of a special team and were keen to share their new experiences with others.
This award was not just an award to put on our shelf, it was a stepping stone for us to deliver a new and exciting fitness and healthy eating programme. This was about inclusivity for those residents less mobile and a new way of supporting them to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Building on success
Our success has been recognised by our wider multidisciplinary team, who encouraged us to develop a programme we could roll out for everyone. We have approximately 110 residents across our service, so this was a big challenge.
We have worked closely with our chefs and dietician to provide healthier food choices. The chefs have been working with our support staff to deliver better portion sizes as we recognised these had increased over lockdown.
Meanwhile, our therapy teams have been putting together more physical activities, including parachute games, indoor ball throwing and lifting dumbbells. We are still offering individual programmes for some of our residents to make sure they are effectively person-centred.
Overall, we are extremely proud of winning the Nursing in Social Care Award, but even more so of all our residents who are keen, engaged and excited to continue with our programme.
We still hear some of our residents talking about the programme, taking on board the information they learnt and making healthier food and activity choices almost a year down the line. This award is for them as much as us.
Still time to enter this year's awards
This has been a motivating experience for all of us and it’s been great to showcase the work of Oakleaf Group colleagues. If your team or service is doing great things in the social care sector, why not nominate them for the Nursing Times ‘nursing in social care’ award?
There are so many amazing people in our profession helping people live longer, healthier and happier lives and they deserve to be recognised. Even making the shortlist is a fantastic feeling and makes you realise that what we do matters to others, not just to the people you support.
Nominations closed Friday 12 May so don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate your colleagues and the amazing work they do.