Author Archives: calderdaleforum50plus


Email the SAFER team on to sign up to a regular email scam update. Safer is run by West Yorkshire Trading Standards and aims to keep you up to date with the latest cams, helping you to avoid them.

Here’s the SAFER guide on how to protect yourself from Nuisance Callers

The TPS should stop unsolicited UK marketing calls. You can register your landline and mobile telephone numbers by calling 0345 070 0707. It’s free to register.

Activate caller ID by contacting your phone provider and use a telephone with a display to screen your calls.

These are devices which you attach to your landline phone to block nuisance calls. They are available at high street stores. Beware of scammers selling fake devices.

Be careful who you give your contact details to. When you need to provide them make sure you look carefully at the marketing “opt-in” or “opt-out” boxes. Remember not to give your banking information or PIN to anyone – not even the bank will ask for this.

Some companies may contact you by telephone to make an appointment to visit you in your home. Although less intrusive than knocking on the door, this is still a cold call and you shouldn’t feel pressured into making a decision.

– Ask a friend or neighbour to be with you if you arrange for a home appointment with someone over the phone.
– You can say ‘No’ to telephone and doorstep callers.


SCAMS: more tips to avoid them

Email the SAFER team on to sign up to a regular email scam update. Safer is run by West Yorkshire Trading Standards and aims to keep you up to date with the latest cams, helping you to avoid them.

Here’s the SAFER December newsletter:

Netflix Scam
The scam tells customers that their billing details with Netflix has been invalidated and to immediately update their information on their website. They give a web link that is NOT the official Netflix site. Don’t click the email link, if you think that your account details need updating, check on the official Netflix site.

When making a purchase from an auction website, use insured payment methods such as PayPal and never do a bank transfer to people you don’t know. Also look out for fake goods: they’re illegal and cost livelihoods. If something is an unbelievable bargain and is too good to be true, it’s probably poor quality or doesn’t even exist. Always check payment pages are secure, and remember to log out when you’ve finished shopping online. Look for the padlock in your browser and https.

Buying Tickets Online?
Be aware if you find a website advertised via email or social media offering you the chance to buy tickets to a popular concert/ event. Fraudsters create their own bogus ticket companies to advertise tickets that have either already sold out, or haven’t officially gone on sale yet. When buying concert tickets online, buy only from official sources such as the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.

Blue disability badge scam
Don’t get caught out by some online websites that are charging up to £50 to complete a blue badge application, when to apply is free. The badge will only cost £10 if the application is successful. If the Web address doesn’t end in then its not an official government website
and is likely to be a scam. ACCESS THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

HOSPITALS: Wards move to Huddersfield

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust have announced that all their wards dealing with elderly patients will be centralised at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for the duration of this winter.

In a statement on their website they said:

“As part of our preparations for this winter and to ensure we are in the best position for our staff to be able to care for our patients we are centralising some services which are currently provided at both Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Hospital onto one of the sites only.

So, for the interim, and to ensure the care we provide is safe and situated close to all support services required:

* all wards for our elderly patients will be located together at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary

* all cardiac and respiratory care will be provided at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

This means that patients on some of our wards will be transferred to the other hospital at our Trust over the next few weeks. Our patients and their families will be supported and kept fully informed. The moves will continue over the next few weeks until it they are all complete.”

Some wards have already moved with all wards completing moves by 12 December. A detailed list of the affected wards can be found on the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust website.

DEMENTIA: Cutting the risks

Source: Public Health England

Just 2% of people in Britain can identify all the health and lifestyle factors that can increase risk of developing dementia.

More than a quarter (28%) of the British public is unable to correctly identify any potentially modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, according to new findings from the British Social Attitudes survey, which was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE).

There is growing evidence that a third of dementia cases could be a result of factors potentially in our control, and actions like taking regular exercise and not smoking can reduce your risk of developing it. This means there is huge potential for prevention.

The survey, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), asked the public if they could identify any of the following risk factors: heavy drinking, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes as well as the protective factor of taking regular exercise and found just 2% of the public is able to identify all of them.

Also, more than 1 in 4 people (27%) in Britain incorrectly believe that there is nothing anyone can do to reduce their risks of getting dementia.

Respondents were asked whether they agreed with the statement “there is nothing anyone can do to reduce their risks of getting dementia”. 27% incorrectly agree that there is nothing anyone can do; a further 26% neither agree nor disagree; and only 43% correctly disagreed with the statement.

Older people are more likely to agree that there is nothing anyone can do to reduce their risk of developing dementia: 33% of those aged 65 and over said this compared with 26% of those under 65.

Dr Charles Alessi, Senior Dementia Advisor at PHE, said:

Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing. What’s good for the heart is good for the brain and simple steps like giving up smoking, reducing alcohol intake, losing weight and taking regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing dementia in the future.

In the absence of a cure for dementia, prevention is the best means we have to reduce its impact on the public. Today’s findings highlight the importance of PHE’s work on the NHS Health Check dementia pilot and campaigns like One You, which raise awareness of the fact it’s never too late to take control of your health and provide adults with personalised tools with which to do it.

Susan Reid, Research Director at NatCen, said:

Today’s results draw attention to the high levels of uncertainty among the public regarding dementia risk factors. Whilst most people are able to recognise dementia symptoms, many believe there’s nothing anyone can do to reduce their risk. But this isn’t the case.
Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

Public awareness of the risk factors for dementia is essential for empowering people to make changes that may lower their chances of developing the condition. While we don’t yet have sure-fire preventions, research suggests keeping healthy from mid-life could help reduce the risk of dementia.

With 850,000 people already living with dementia in the UK, we must do all we can to help people understand the risk factors for dementia now if we are to influence dementia rates in the future.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said:

There’s no better time than today to start making changes to your life and reduce your risk of dementia. A good way to begin is with regular physical activity – like a brisk walk or dancing – along with a healthy balanced diet.

Try and stop smoking, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, and ensure you manage and get support for other health conditions. Keep your brain active too – research suggests people who do activities that stimulate the brain, like reading or puzzles, are less likely to develop dementia, compared with those who don’t.

HEALTH: Seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter. The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. They’re typically most severe during December, January and February. SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer, although it may return each autumn and winter in a repetitive pattern.

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight.
  • For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

When to see your GP

You should consider seeing your GP if you think you might have SAD and you’re struggling to cope. Your GP can carry out an assessment to check your mental health. They may ask you about your mood, lifestyle, eating habits and sleeping patterns, plus any seasonal changes in your thoughts and behaviour.

What causes SAD?

The exact cause of SAD isn’t fully understood, but it’s often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the:

  • production of melatonin – melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels
  • production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression
  • body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) –your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD
  • It’s also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases appear to run in families.

Treatments for SAD

A range of treatments are available for SAD. Your GP will recommend the most suitable treatment programme for you. The main treatments are:

  • lifestyle measures, including getting as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels
  • light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight
  • talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling
  • antidepressant medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    (Source: NHS Choices)

Sources of Support

GP – You should consider seeing your GP if you think you might have SAD and you’re struggling to cope.

Early Intervention (Insight)
(GP referral and self referrals)
Early Intervention (Insight) provides free talking therapies to NHS patients in Calderdale. They help people with depression, anxiety, trauma, bereavement and other mental health problems.
T: 0300 555 0191 or 01422 262380

Calderdale Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
(GP referral and self referrals)
IAPT help people to get quick and easy access to the best type of therapy for their individual needs. Some of their therapists offer treatment on the phone and will call the service user at their convenience, which can include Saturdays or evenings. A therapist is also available on Saturday morning. The service is delivered in centres around Calderdale and each person is offered an assessment to determine if IAPT is the right service for them.
T: 01484 434625/6

Turning Point Counselling Service
Turning Point exists to offer help to those who need someone to talk to-someone who will listen and understand, someone specially trained, someone they can trust.
01484 950 808

Healthy Minds
Healthy Minds is Calderdale’s local mental health charity. Led by people who have personal experience of mental distress. Their services include: support groups throughout Calderdale, recovery courses, mental health awareness & anti-stigma workshops, welfare rights advice service, volunteer support service and a forum for people to have a say on mental health.
T: 01422 345154

SAFETY: Avoiding slips, falls & slips

Winter slips, trips and falls are an especially important issue for older people.

Slips, Trips & Falls

Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of accident in life generally and, thankfully, the consequences of many falls on snow or ice are simply minor bumps and bruises.

In previous years, however, thousands of people have been admitted to hospital after suffering more serious injuries after falls during wintry weather. Figures from the Hospital Episode Statistics for England show there were 2,919 admissions to hospital in 2014/15 as a result of people falling over on snow or ice.

Beating the Snow & Ice

During times when pavements and footpaths are covered in snow/ice:

  • Wear sturdy footwear, with a good grip – you can always change into other footwear when you have reached your destination
  • If you’ve got Nordic walking poles (or similar), use them
  • Take it slowly and allow yourself extra time to get from A to B, so you don’t find yourself having to make a last minute dash to get to the bus etc.
  • Keep an eye on what is underfoot. Some places will remain icy for longer than others (e.g. places that do not get the sun)
  • If you have neighbours who are elderly/disabled/new mums etc. offer to pop to the shops for them
  • If councils have provided grit bins so people can treat public areas not included on the usual gritter route, use them – but don’t remove vast quantities for your own personal use.
  • Remember – as well as slips and trips on pavements and in public places, many people fall over on their own footpaths and driveways. Take care in these places too.

Ice and snow advice for older people

The consequences of a fall can be more serious for older people. RoSPA has special tips for them to help avoid falling in slippery conditions:

  • Try to minimise the need to go out. Ask friends or neighbours to shop for you or take you to where you need to go
  • If you do decide to go out when there’s snow and ice about, take time to think what you can do to reduce the risk of a fall
  • Where possible, plan a safe route from your home to where you are going, so as to avoid slopes, steps and areas that have not been cleared or gritted
  • Don’t take short cuts through areas where the slipping hazards are greater
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to clear a safe path from your front door
  • Wear proper footwear for better traction on slippery surfaces. Consider fitting anti-slip crampons
  • Consider using a stick or better still, a walking pole and take slow, small steps. Try not to hurry and give yourself more time to get from A to B so you do not rush
  • Use rails or other stable objects that you can hold on to
  • If possible, wear extra layers to protect the more vulnerable parts of your body like your head, neck and spine if you do fall
  • Wipe your feet well when entering buildings
  • In public places, always report unsafe conditions so other people do not get hurt
    Source: (

Sources of Support

NHS Choices: Hundreds of health conditions explained at NHS Choices your health, your choices. Website:

Age UK: Age UK is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. Website:

Falls and Fractures Alliance: An alliance between Age UK and the National Osteoporosis Society working together to achieve the common goals of preventing falls and fractures.

HEALTH: Get out, stay well!

We’ve all been there: confined to our homes for days, or even weeks, thanks to the dreaded flu or some other ailment. When you’re finally able to go outside, there’s no feeling quite like it. And for older adults, this seemingly simple pleasure could be life-saving.

Researchers say that leaving the house daily may help older adults to live longer. New research finds that older people who leave their homes every day are likelier to live longer than those who remain indoors, regardless of their health status or functional capacity.

The message is clear – getting out and about is a major benefit.

Read the full story on Medical News Today