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Care Home Resident Celebrates 106th Birthday with Added ‘Oomph!’ Thanks to Special Activities Instructor

Samantha-Dougan-and-Flo-SmithFlo Smith, resident at care home Antonine House in Bearsden, celebrated her 106th birthday with an extra special exercise class, designed by award-winning social enterprise, Oomph!

Flo is the oldest resident at Antonine House, a Meallmore care home, and celebrated her birthday with a lunch for 40 of her family and friends and a special Oomph! class with music chosen by her. A former tennis player and ballroom dancer, Flo arrived at the home with good fitness and mobility and she now takes part in three Oomph! classes per week.

Samantha Dougan, activities coordinator at Antonine House, has undertaken training from Oomph! to deliver special chair-based exercise classes to her residents that use colourful props, popular music and themed imagery – designed to stimulate their mind, body and soul.

Samantha said: “Flo really encourages the other residents when they are in the class even though she is much older than most. She really enjoys the dance elements of Oomph!, and the classes are helping her to maintain her social relationships and speak to other people.

“At Antonine House, we recognise the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle in later life. Exercise builds better circulation, singing stimulates memory plus the routines we practice improve dexterity, balance and grip. We’ve seen a huge increase in social interaction, particularly among residents who were previously reluctant to get involved in activities and a remarkable decrease in resident falls.”

 Samantha leads nine ‘Oomph!’ classes a week for her residents and recently received a prestigious Oomph! ‘Instructor of the Month’ award from the exercise company. Chosen from more than 400 qualified instructors across the UK, Samantha has inspired three quarters of residents to regularly take part and achieved a 50% reduction in falls among participants.

Flo said: “I’m proud of Samantha for winning this award because she puts her all into the classes. I love it because we have a great time doing it. Samantha makes it feel like a party and it helps me to keep mobile and feel better.”

Ben Allen, founder of Oomph!, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Antonine House.  Samantha’s doing a fantastic job and Flo is an inspiration to all of us.  Oomph! classes are designed to be fun, imaginative and entertaining – exercise only works if participants want to be there.  Our work helps to build confidence, strengthen muscles and create a positive atmosphere that staff and residents really engage with.”

For more information or to arrange a tour of Antonine House, please call 0141 942 4644 or email antonine@meallmore.co.uk. For more information on Oomph! visit www.oomph-wellness.org or email hello@oomph-wellness.org.

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