Author Archives: calderdaleforum50plus

Changing steroptypes about ageing

Here is a link to a short video from Calderdale Council on changes the adult social care team are making to support elderly people to stay active and in their homes.

In the video, Iain Baines, Director of Adult Social Care for Calderdale Council challenges the stereotype of fragile, vulnerable older people and talks about the simple changes carers can make to support people to stay independent by maintaining mobility and staying active.

View the video.

Follow the campaign – #ACTIVECDALE @ACTIVECDALE

Hindsight and Foresight!

Here is our latest blog from Forum Chair, Malcolm Kielty MBE on the abundance of hindsight and the scarcity of foresight!

Isn’t hindsight a wonderful attribute? 

Right now, everyone has hindsight.  Media commentators, experts, politicians and ordinary people like you and me.  Coronavirus, Brexit, Black lives Matter – we all know best!

Everyone claims to have hindsight and sounds so knowledgeable!

But what about foresight?  Wouldn’t it be brilliant if more of us had this instead!

With hindsight yes it would!

However, those who have more hindsight, rarely chance their arm at foresight, just in case they get it wrong!

They wait for others to use some foresight and if their predictions are right, they applaud the fact and save their hindsight for another day.

Which camp do you sit in?

I think it is time to have a stab at positivity instead of all this relentless negativity ……………….its the future!!

You can’t change what has gone before.  But by learning the lessons of the past, you might be able to shape a better future.

Now…………………where did I put that half full glass??

 

Gov’t Advice: Meeting people from outside your household

Here is a summary of the updated Government advice on meeting people from outside your household.

This guidance explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with.  At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them.

You should only meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:

  • Outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • A group of 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household), in any location ‒ public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time.

It remains the case ‒ even inside someone’s home ‒ that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. Those who have been able to form a support bubble (which is those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in their bubble. This should be exclusive and should not change. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

Staying alert when meeting people you do not live with

In order to keep you and your family and friends safe, it remains very important that you stay alert when meeting family and friends.

You should:

  • only socialise indoors with members of up to 2 households ‒ this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • not hold or attend celebrations of any size (such as parties or wedding receptions) where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing
  • not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households (including your support bubble)
  • limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread

You can also minimise the risk of spreading infection by following some key principles. You should:

  • continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble
  • take hygiene precautions by washing your hands as soon as you are home for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitiser when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow
  • access private gardens externally wherever possible – if you need to go through someone else’s home to do so, avoid touching surfaces and loitering
  • avoid using toilets in other people’s home (outside of your support bubble) wherever possible and wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible
  • using disinfectant, wipe down any surfaces or door handles people from outside of your household or support bubble come into contact with if walking through your home
  • avoid sharing plates and utensils with people outside of your household or your support bubble
  • avoid using paddling pools or other garden equipment with people outside of your household or bubble.

Going to a pub or restaurant with members of another household

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with, you should only meet one other household if you are seated indoors.

If you are eating or drinking outdoors, you can do so with one other household or in a group of up to 6 people from different households. You should take care to limit your interactions with anyone outside the group you visit these places with.

In all cases, people from different households (unless in support bubbles) should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. Premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure principles.

Staying overnight with members of another household

You, and members of your household or support bubble, should only stay overnight in groups of up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). This can be in each other’s homes or other accommodation, such as hotels or apartments. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not normally live with, take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

Sharing food and drink

You should try, wherever possible, not to pass each other food or drink unless you live together or are in a support bubble together. You should ensure that plates or utensils are thoroughly cleaned before use. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels if possible.

Using garden equipment

You should not share garden equipment with people outside of your household or your support bubble because of the risk of transmission from shared surfaces. You could bring your own equipment or if you have to use chairs, for example, you should wipe them down carefully with household cleaner before and after use.

You should try to avoid shared equipment. For example you should use your own tennis racquet, golf club or basketball. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if it is to be used by someone else.

You should avoid using paddling pools and private swimming pools with people outside of your household or support bubble.

Playing sport

You can exercise or play sport outdoors but this should only be in groups of up to 2 households, or in groups of up to 6 people from different households as is the current rule. You should only do so where it’s possible to socially distance from those you do not live with.

People who play team sports can train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions, but should not do so in groups of more than 6 and you should socially distance from people you do not live with. While groups could practise ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. The government intends to publish advice as soon as possible on how team sport can restart safely.

You can also play tennis with people from outside of your household (or support bubble) but you should socially distance wherever possible. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if equipment is to be used by someone else.

Group prayer

Places of worship can open for services and group prayer, but should operate in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidelines. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with even if you see other people you know.

Travelling to meet people

You can travel to meet people irrespective of distance. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

You should take particularl care if you are travelling to an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where where local lockdown measures have been imposed – you should avoid doing so if possible.

You should not travel with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing, for example by cycling.

Lone adults with carers

If you are the only adult in your household, then you will be able to form a support bubble with any other household that is willing to exclusively bubble with you. This is irrespective of whether carers visit you to provide support.

If you live with other adults including your carers, then you will still be able to form a support bubble, however this would need to be with a single adult household.

See the full government guidelines.

For advice on staying safe when travelling, see our partner website, Disability Partnership Calderdale.  

Crime advice – “Dob in a Dealer” & More

Just out is the local police’s Crime Prevention newsletter. with a focus on  the latest drug dealing and fraud issues and how to report suspicious activity.

The newsletter highlights:

  • Drug dealing and ‘Cuckooing’ – looking out for the vulnerable in society.
  • Fraud during the easing of Lockdown, what to watch out for.
  • Look after those pedal cycles, more bikes sold does not have to mean more bikes stolen.
  • Celebrating Neighbourhood Watch Week and the up and coming 35th year anniversary.

Dob in a dealer

We all want our area of residence to be a place where we feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, drug use and supplying of drugs in areas of residence can severely diminish and damage that feeling of safety and security. The supply of drugs is linked heavily with Serious Organised Crime. If the supply of drugs is rife in a particular area, the pitfalls such as gang clashes, violence and Knife Crime can cast a ghastly shadow on its residents.

‘Cuckooing’ is another effect that the supply of drugs is a direct consequence of. ‘Cuckooing’ is when a drug dealer or gang takes over a vulnerable adult’s address for criminal purposes, usually as a site to supply, store or produce drugs from. Gangs will exploit an individual’s vulnerabilities in order to make a profit and avoid police detection.

This is why it is paramount that you report any suspicious activity to West Yorkshire Police via our website –
www.westyorkshire.police.uk/report-it.

Alternatively, you can report anonymously to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or on their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org/

For more advice and information, visit: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/drugs

New video guide: Using Direct Payments to pay for a PA

This webinar from the website be-human.org.uk is for anyone employing PA’s (Personal Assistants) with their Direct Payments.

This video guide is focused on employers and employees for people on Direct Payments via a personal budget or personal health budget. The speakers are Miro Griffiths who employs his own PA’s, Carol Reeves from Skills for care and Jug Sahota and Emma Slaven from ACAS.

The slides to the webinar are available here

Webinar from 24th June 2020 – Let’s talk about…Employing PA’s

 

July news from the Macular Society

The Macular Society’s July e-newsletter is now out and includes the following and more:

Patients urged to seek treatment, before it is too late
A new report has revealed more than a 70% reduction in new referrals and a high rate of missed appointments due to the coronavirus. 

Read more on why it is so important to get a quick diagnosis.

‘We desperately want to change the future for Matilda’
At just three and a half Matilda was diagnosed with macular disease at a routine eye test. In Macular Week, her family shared her story.

‘As scientists our ultimate aim is to make people’s lives better’
In Macular Week the society shared Matilda’s story. Matilda is just seven years old and her parents would so desperately like a cure in her lifetime. So, what progress is being made?

‘Exercise can slow or prevent vision loss, study finds”
A new study has found that exercise can slow or prevent the development of macular degeneration and may benefit other common causes of vision loss.  Read more…

Read the full newsletter here

How to manage depression during lockdown

For older people, living under lockdown and dealing with the subsequent fears caused by a global pandemic can lead to mental health conditions such as depression.

There are several ways people can try to manage pandemic-related fears, anxieties, and changes to prevent them from causing or worsening depression.

This really helpful article taken from the newsletter Medical News Today discusses depression, how the coronavirus pandemic may affect it, and ways to manage depression using at-home remedies, lifestyle tips, and medical treatments.

Older adults and people with chroinic or severe health conditions may be more impacted than others by the COVID-19 pandemic and its stresses.

Some of the fears and anxieties caused by a situation which is out of our control can become overwhelming. Negative thoughts or feelings that people associate with lockdown include:

  • uncertainty about the future
  • concern over limited resources
  • fear of infection or exposing others
  • worry about personal health and that of loved ones
  • feeling hopeless about things returning to normal
  • feeling helpless or frustrated by loss of control
  • fear of crowded places and difficulties social distancing.

Social isolation and loneliness can also cause a decline in mood and cognition.

A 2020 study suggests social disconnectedness in adults aged 57–85 years increases the risk of feeling isolated. This feeling may translate into more depression and anxiety symptoms.

Steps to manage depression

Tips for managing depression at home during lockdown may include the following:

Follow a healthy, daily routine

Following a lockdown routine or existing daily routines may help maintain some sense of time and structure. A routine may also make it easier to go back to a usual routine afterward.

During this time, it is best to try and keep physically active, eat a healthy diet, and quit bad habits, such as smoking and drinking.

Not following a routine also tends to make people more likely to adopt a lethargic lifestyle. Lethargy can increase negative thinking patterns and reduce self-care, such as personal hygiene and healthy eating patterns.

Stay informed without obsessing

Staying informed with trustworthy news sources may help increase feelings of control and reduce unnecessary anxieties.

Flooding oneself with coronavirus information, especially from unreliable sources, may cause anxiety and distress that can become overwhelming.

It may be helpful to try limiting news or social media intake to once or twice a day, or two 30-minute chunks, and only get information from credible sources.

Help support others

If it’s possible, helping others, especially people who need extra support, such as frontline workers, or getting involved in community opportunities, may help promote feelings of security, self-worth, control, and connectedness.

It may also be beneficial to amplify positive and hopeful stories on COVID-19.

Stay connected

Lockdown restrictions may make it difficult, but it is important to find ways to connect with family, friends, and co-workers.

While people with depression may avoid social interactions, studies show isolation or disconnectedness typically worsens depression.

During conversations with friends and family, it is a good idea to talk honestly and validate pandemic or lockdown-related fears and feelings.

Having strong, open social connections can also increase feelings of security and self-worth.

Practice relaxation techniques

Practices that promote relaxation, such as prayer, meditation, and some types of yoga, may reduce stress and improve feelings of self-worth and connectedness.

It may also be beneficial to start a gratitude journal to focus on positive thoughts.

A person may also try other relaxation or mindfulness techniques to help improve sleep.

Reach out for help

It is vital to reach out for help when negative emotions, thoughts, or physical symptoms interfere with everyday functioning or do not respond to lifestyle changes.

A person can start by talking to their doctor about their struggles and feelings. Doctors may be able to prescribe medications to help.

Many licensed psychologists are also offering secure telephone or virtual therapy appointments during lockdown.

Get outdoors

Spending time outdoors may reduce anxiety and stress, improve feelings of well-being and happiness, and improve mood.

Vitamin D supplementation, an abundant nutrient in sunshine, may also reduce depressive symptoms.

Most places do not have strict rules preventing people from being outdoors near their homes if they practice social distancing. But people must always make sure to follow specific health guidelines and advisories.

Read the latest lockdown rules to ensure you stay safe as the lockdown is relaxed.

Read the advice from 6 July if you are shielding.

 

 

 

New non-hormonal treatment for hot flushes in development

The distress of hot flushes and night sweats affects many menopausal women.   Research into a new non-hormonal treatment is underway with promising early results.

Menopausal hot flushes and night sweats affect around 80% of older women who are in the menopause and can cause significant distress, lasting many years.  While hormone replacement therapy is still the first line treatment, it is not suitable or desirable for everyone, especially women who have suffered or are at risk of certain types of cancer.

While there are plenty of non-hormonal treatments, there is no hard evidence of effectiveness.

Recent research reported by website Menopause Matters has shown that a chemical pathway in the body called Neurokinin B is involved in the development of hot flushes.  As Estrogen levels fall, this chemical reacts with an area of the brain to cause the sensation of extreme heat.

A possible treatment to reduce the impact of Nerokinin B has been identified and in a randomised, controlled trial over 12 weeks with menopausal women, significant improvements were seen in hot flush frequency, mood and quality of sleep, with no negative effects.

Further studies are required and are underway, but the possibility of an effective, safe non-hormonal treatment is a positive prospect for the future.

Read the full report.

 

 

Funded activity packs for older people

Community Foundation for Calderdale are funding Age UK to deliver activity packs to the homes of isolating older people in Calderdale.

For many older people who live alone, the prolonged Isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has created problems of loneliness, boredom and depression.

We know how important mental wellbeing is and with many of the elderly still afraid or unable to leave their homes, Community Foundation for Calderdale have responded by funding Age UK Calderale and Kirklees to deliver packs to older people who are still isolating.

If you are or know an older person who you think would like to receive a pack then please contact Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees by emailing enquiry@ageukck.org.uk

 

 

 

Government guidance for people receiving direct payments

The Government has published advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.

Below are all the key guidance documents for you to download,

Documents

Annex A: template contingency plan

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Annex B: example documentation

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Details

This guidance sets out the main messages for individuals and organisations that can support planning, and help slow the transmission of the coronavirus as the outbreak progresses across the country.

It’s accompanied by additional guidance (third and fourth attachments), mostly aimed at direct payment holders, that directly responds to questions and concerns previously raised by direct payment holders, personal assistants, and charities and organisations that support them.

Mandatory MOT testing to be reintroduced

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MOT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seatbelts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
“As people return to our roads, it is vital that motorists are able to keep their vehicles safe. That’s why as restrictions are eased, from 1 August MOT testing will again become mandatory.

Garages across the country are open and I urge drivers who are due for their MOT to book a test as soon they can.”

Only some garages remained open to conduct essential services during the coronavirus outbreak, but now over 90% are open across the country. Testing capacity has already reached 70% of normal levels and is steadily increasing.

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

If drivers are vulnerable or self-isolating they should contact their local garage as many are offering pick-up and drop-off services, so drivers can get their car checked without having to visit a garage.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has also issued guidance to all MOT testers about safely conducting tests in line with the latest government advice.