Author Archives: calderdaleforum50plus

HEALTH: Exercise Combats High Blood Pressure

“Swimming, walking or lifting weights in the gym ‘treats high blood pressure as well as drugs’,” reported the Mail Online, recently.

High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is common among older people and can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Many people take one or more medicines to keep blood pressure under control.

Researchers carried out a review of 391 studies and trials which had looked into the effects of either blood pressure medicines or exercise programmes on blood pressure. When they compared the effects of the 2 different interventions, they found exercise produced similar results to medicines for people with high blood pressure.

The study adds to evidence that exercise is a good way to keep blood pressure under control. However, the researchers found no studies that directly compared medicines with exercise programmes, meaning the results rely on indirect comparisons between groups of people that may have been quite different. This makes it harder to rely on the results.

As the Mail Online rightly points out, you should never stop taking a prescribed medicine for high blood pressure without first seeking advice from a health professional. But increasing your activity levels could help enhance the protective effects of any medication.

More on this story and its background can be found on the NHS website

Find out more about recommended exercise levels for adults.


HEALTH: Gum Disease Alzheimer’s Link

“Gum disease bug could play ‘central role’ in development of Alzheimer’s,” The Independent reported last week.

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are still debated. Most scientists think it is likely to be down to a combination of factors, including your genes and lifestyle.

But some believe it may be caused by an infectious disease and have been investigating bacteria called porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) which is known to trigger gum disease (gingivitis).

Doctors have observed that gingivitis is more common among people with Alzheimer’s disease, although that could be because these people find dental hygiene more challenging.

A team of researchers has found that proteins produced by P. gingivalis are present in higher concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In experiments on mice, they found that mice infected by mouth with P. gingivalis later showed signs of brain infection and deterioration; signs similar to those found in humans with early-stage dementia. They went on to find that a newly developed drug could clear the bacterial infection and seemed to stop brain deterioration. The new drug is now being tested on people in clinical trials.

While any advance in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is welcome, this research is at a very early stage. We don’t know for sure that P. gingivalis causes Alzheimer’s disease in humans, or that the drug will work.

Lots more on this story on the NHS website


QUEENSBURY: Coffee & Crumpets

If you know anyone who could do with getting out of the house, have a cuppa and a chat, then drop in to Queensbury Community Programme for Coffee and Crumpets every Tuesday 10:00am-12:00pm.

Carers, volunteers, relatives and friends are all welcome and perhaps you could make some suggestions on how to help the elderly people of Queensbury.

For more information call Lynda on 07745 683112,  email or call 01274 816748.

FLOODS: New Project Begins

Work has started on a two year £2.6 million natural flood management project in West Yorkshire led by the National Trust to help protect homes and nurture wildlife devastated by the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The aim is to reduce the risk of flooding to over 3,000 homes and businesses in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Marsden and surrounding areas.

Taking learnings from the conservation charity’s success with a similar scheme at the Holnicote Estate in Somerset, this will be one of the biggest investments of its kind to date in England.

The work at Hardcastle Crags and Wessenden Valley, part of Marsden Moor, both cared for by the National Trust; and Gorpley Reservoir, looked after by Yorkshire Water and the Woodland Trust; will use a combination of natural interventions to slow the flow of water along the Colne and Calder river catchments.

With £1.3 million growth deal funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and £1.3 million either in funds or in-kind support from other partners including The Forestry Commission, Moors For The Future partnership, Environment Agency, Woodland Trust, Yorkshire Water, Calderdale Council and other community groups, plans include the planting of 151 hectares of new woodland at Gorpley Reservoir and in the Wessenden Valley, the restoration of 85 hectares of peat bogs, heath and Molinia (moor grass) and the construction of over 650 “leaky dams”.

Over 3,000 metres of fascines (bundles of brushwood) will also be dug in to help stabilise stream banks and slopes, and new areas of land will be fenced for sustainable grazing by sheep and cattle.

All partners have been working together as part of the White Rose Forest Partnership. New woodlands planted will help grow the White Rose Forest, part of the new Northern Forest.

Craig Best, countryside manager for the National Trust in West Yorkshire says:

“Traditional flood alleviation schemes have focused primarily on delivering hard infrastructures such as flood defence walls to protect the places where people live. However, there is increasing recognition of the role natural flood management can play to reduce the impacts of flooding on communities, while delivering key benefits for the natural environment.

“Although natural techniques are not considered to be the single solution to reducing flood risk they are increasingly recognised as playing a significant role alongside more traditional approaches.

“The combination of work we’re planning here of both new habitat creation and landscape restoration will, once things have become established, help absorb significant amounts of water to help slow the flow of water heading downstream towards towns and villages when we experience heavy rain.

“Wildlife we are hoping will benefit from the project include upland birds such as curlew and twite and areas for bog plants such as hare’s tail cottongrass and sphagnum to thrive.”

SUPPORT: Young Carers Newsletter

As a young carer, the New Year gets into its stride, now is a good opportunity to look at making some positive changes and how to achieve these. The special Calderdale Young Carers Newsletter will give some suggestions of things that can help improve carers lives for the better. It might be that over the year you want to try all 5 or that 1 is just enough for you!

Download the full newsletter here and see some upcoming events that you may like to join at the bottom of this page.

Improving Health and Wellbeing
As a carer you may feel you have very little time to focus on your own health and wellbeing, but it is so important! There is lots of support available in this area and sometimes it just requires a small amount of time to start making changes!

Managing Your Money
Issues with finances are often very common with carers, from understanding the benefits system to learning budgeting skills, there are lots of difficulties carers face but also lots of advice and support available. Calderdale Carers caseworkers are able to offer some advice but also have a good knowledge of other services if you require in-depth specialist support.

Making More Time to Socialise
Carers often say they don’t have enough time to meet with their friends, family or other carers. Calderdale Carers feel that these relationships are essential to all of us.

Taking up a new Hobby or Learning A New Skill
Have you ever thought about going back to education to learn a new language, find out about your family history or complete a first aid course? Then Calderdale Adult Learning might have a course for you.

Sorting Out Your Affairs
The new year can be a good time to start thinking about and preparing for the future. At Calderdale Carers we can offer you advice and information on lasting power of attorney, making a will and funeral planning. This can include sending you out printed information, talking through a specific issue or signposting you to where you can get help.

Some activities coming up;

Tea out at Pizza Hut – Thursday 7 March, 5:00pm
Meeting at Pizza Hut. £20 allowance for food and drink.

LaserZone – Wednesday 17 April, 4:00pm
Pick up at the office at 4pm. Session includes 2 games of laser tag, a drink and snack.

Bowling – Tuesday 14 May, 5:00pm
Meeting at Electric Bowl for 2 games, food and drink.

To participate in any of the activities please contact Lydia on 01422 369101 or 07858 714068

ENERGY: Check, Switch, Save

The Citizens Advice Calderdale Energy Champion and the Calderdale Council Affordable Warmth team have recently been hosting energy awareness events in the area. For those of you who could not make it, they have some really simple advice in their slogan ‘Check, Switch, Save’.

  • Check – read your meter regularly and check your bills.
  • Switch – supplier and you could save hundreds of pounds.
  • Save – on usage by making your home more energy efficient.

Citizens Advice has provided figures that suggest 21.5% of households in Calderdale switched their supplier in 2018, which is fantastic but they’re hoping to encourage even more to give it a try.


Good mental health is so important all year round. If you’re struggling make today the day you ask for help.

Where can you get support locally?

  • Healthy Minds offer a range of services to help you find what works for you to improve and maintain your emotional health and wellbeing. They can help whether or not you have a mental health diagnosis, or have been involved with other mental health services
  • Andy’s Man Club offer talking groups for men every Monday at 7pm in Hebden Bridge and Halifax. There no referral, no waiting lists… you just turn up and have a brew and a listen and if you want to talk to you!
  • The Samaritans offer a free, confidential service, 24 hours a day, on 116 123.
  • If you’re worried about money, Calderdale Credit Union helps people manage their finances, and the charity Step Change gives free debt advice.
  • Staying Well – our team can work with any adult in Calderdale from 18 years and over to access social activities and health and wellbeing services in the community. Call us on 01422 392767
  • Family Support Teams – Being a parent isn’t always easy. Sure Start Children’s Centres offer practical friendly advice and support to help you manage through those difficult times of family life. Lower Valley 01422 262 181. Central Halifax 01422 342 552. Upper Valley 01706 399 980. North and East Halifax 01422 251090.