FITNESS: Commit This Autumn

Although the nights are drawing in, Autumn is a great time to commit to get fit. Calderdale has many indoor fitness centres and swimming pools and there’s a huge range of classes and course you can participate in as you build up your fitness.

As well as improving your physical wellbeing, exercise is great for your mental health as well and, at a time of year when many people feel down at the prospect of winter’s approach, it’s a brilliant way to fight off the winter-blues.

Visit Calderdale Council’s website for details of facilities, classes and current fitness promotions:

Calderdale’s Fitness and Sports Centres


HEALTH: Implications of Stress

Information on how many people in the UK population as a whole are affected by stress is very limited. However, our new survey found that over the past year, almost three quarters of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. While stress isn’t a mental health problem in itself, it often leads to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. It can also lead to physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease and joint and muscle problems.

The report available to download below, by the Mental Health Foundation, looks at the prevalence of stress in the UK and its implications. It also focuses on what we can do to manage and reduce stress and our recommendations for the government in creating a stress-free UK.

Download Report

ANALYSIS: Mortality Rate Trends

Life expectancy in the UK has risen steadily throughout recent history. However, there’s evidence that this long-term trend is finally running out of steam.

2010 marked a turning point in long-term mortality trends, with improvements tailing off after decades of steady decline – in both males and females, and at younger and older ages. In the 100 years to 2010–12, life expectancy increased by nearly three years every decade, but between 2011 and 2016 it increased by only 0.4 years for males and 0.2 years for females.

2015 was an exceptional year when life expectancy fell across virtually all of Europe. The age-standardised mortality rate3 in England and Wales in 2015 increased by 3 per cent for males and 5 per cent for females over 2014, leading to a fall in life expectancy. Most of the ‘excess’ deaths occurred early in the year and among people aged 75+.

Although life expectancy has picked up in 2016 and 2017, the Office for National Statistics announcement that the mortality rate in quarter one of 2018 was higher than in any quarter since 2009 prompted the Department of Health and Social Care to ask Public Health England to undertake a review of mortality trends in England and Wales.

The Kingsfund has a really excellent article on the subject on their website at the moment and it’s well worth a read as this is a fascinating and revealing subject.


HEALTH: Report on Incontinence

Leading charities have warned that incontinence is one of the biggest issues for countless people with serious health conditions who they support – but the taboo around the topic forces those affected to struggle in silence.

Ten organisations including Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Marie Curie and Parkinson’s UK held a workshop to discuss common problems and potential solutions with patients, carers, researchers and health and social care professionals. The resulting report recommends tackling the stigma and funding research into this important but often ignored issue.

The report details the daily impact of incontinence on older people and people living with long-term health conditions and terminal illnesses like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, urinary and gastric issues.

The report authors are calling for evaluation of the economic impact of incontinence, more dedicated services to support people affected, better training for health and care professionals, and investment in research with a focus on non-drug and non-surgical interventions that allow people affected to take control of their own needs.

Lesley Carter, Clinical Lead at Age UK, warned: “Incontinence can have a big impact on an older person’s quality of life, their wellbeing and independence. Too often, people are left to manage alone because they feel too embarrassed to seek help, or when they do, adequate support is not available.

“We urgently need to break the taboo around incontinence, and invest in dedicated services and training for staff to support people to manage incontinence effectively and remain independent. As our population ages, more and more people will be likely to experience incontinence and as a society, we must act now to end the stigma.”

Find out more by downloading the report.

HEALTH: What is Type 2 Diabetes?

How much do you know about type 2 diabetes? According to Age UK, if you’re a man the chances are you don’t know enough, which is why the UK is facing a male diabetes crisis.

Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

“Type 1 diabetes is unavoidable and not preventable,” clarifies Peter Baker, Men’s Health Consultant, “but type 2 diabetes is.”

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, resulting from the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and when there isn’t enough of it in the body, blood sugar levels go up.

Type 2 diabetes, however, is characterised by the body losing its ability to produce enough insulin, or the cells in the body not being able to react to insulin. This too can lead to high levels of blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is often linked to being overweight.

The size (and cost) of the problem

“We face an extraordinary problem with [type 2] diabetes and men in the UK,” explains Peter. “We’re failing on prevention, early diagnosis and outcomes for complications resulting from it. It’s costing billions of pounds to treat.”

The cost to the NHS is reported more than £1.5 million an hour, or 10% of the NHS budget for England and Wales. “The tragedy of it is that many of these cases are preventable,” says Peter.

The battle ahead

“Diabetes is a problem for both sexes,” says Peter, “but cases are going up particularly sharply for men. One in 10 men now has diabetes, and men are 26% more likely to have it than women, and more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes too.”

The importance of getting checked out

Peter suggests that men are more likely to get a later diagnosis because they fail to recognise the symptoms of diabetes – such as feeling fatigued and urinating more than usual, particularly at night – and therefore don’t seek help. They’re also less likely to go and see a GP or attend health checks, despite the fact that every man between 40 and 74 is entitled to a free NHS health check every few years.

“Women are also entitled to them on an equal basis, of course,” adds Peter, “but men are less likely to turn up when invited. Those health checks are designed to detect diabetes and heart disease.”

Dangerous complications

Of the estimated £14 billion pounds a year spent on treating diabetes, the majority goes on its complications, such as foot ulcers, which men experience more than women. “We don’t fully understand why men suffer from complications more,” says Peter. “It may be that men aren’t managing their conditions as well, but that hasn’t been proven. There may be a biological reason, but that’s an area that needs more investigation.”

Diabetes in older age

“A diagnosis of diabetes can happen at any time,” says Peter. “People don’t just suddenly become diabetic. It’s a process that happens over time and [type 2] can be reversed. The obvious things that people need to do is to have a healthy diet, be physically active and keep an eye on your weight. If you do that at any age, it reduces your risk of diabetes as well as your risk of heart disease and cancer.”

What to do if you’re diagnosed with diabetes in later life

“Having a healthy diet and being physically active can be an important part of the treatment,” explains Peter. “There is evidence that you can treat your diabetes effectively by losing weight. Some people’s diabetes can disappear as a result of weight loss, although the weight loss might have to be significant.

“Another important element is to learn to manage your condition effectively: have regular check-ups, follow the advice that you’re given, take the medication you’re prescribed, and seek help if anything doesn’t feel right.”

In summary

  • Men are more at risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
  • Men are more likely to be diagnosed later.
  • Complications, like foot ulcers, are more common in men
  • The symptoms of diabetes can be improved, and even reversed, through healthy diet and exercise.
  • Having check-ups and following your prescribed treatment is vital to managing diabetes effectively.

Cut your risk of diabetes

FINANCE: Care Costs Compared

Research collated by Age UK indicates that the average cost of residential care varies drastically depending on where in the UK you live, creating a postcode lottery for vulnerable people in need of care.

In 2016/7, the divide between counties in the North and South of England was as much as £230 a week in some cases. Perhaps unsurprisingly, London was found to be the most expensive region to obtain residential care, at a weighted average of £741 a week, whereas the North West was the least expensive at £511. Funding support may be available from your local council if you need help paying for your care.


EVENTS: Calderdale Activity Guide

Do Something!

Calderdale’s activity guide for children, young people and families

Activities for September 2018 – January 2019 are listed in the following PDF (download):

Do Something September 2018 – January 2019 activities

If you want a printed copy, they are available at local libraries, leisure centres, museums and visitor centres. The guide is packed with all sorts of fun activities for children and families all year round. There are sport and leisure activities, including: cycling courses, football events and lots of different things to do at swimming pools. There are also organised walks and events in the countryside, activities for children of all ages at libraries and in museums and sessions at play schemes and children centres, plus lots more!


Some activities you will need to book in advance. Follow the booking instructions shown next to the activity.

Please note: We suggest you contact activity organisers before booking to:

  • check the activity is taking place;
  • check that places are available;
  • to confirm the prices;
  • and for any special arrangements.

Passport to Leisure (PTL)

PTL cardholders may receive discounted rates for activities. Ask the activity providers, to see if there is a discount.

For more about PTL phone: 01422 288001 or see: Passport to Leisure .

Activities for disabled children

Most of the activities featured in ‘Do Something’ are fully inclusive for disabled people. It is essential however to check the accessibility with activity providers in advance.

Non Council run activities

In addition to the Council organised activities listed, there are lots of other things going on in Calderdale.

For more details of events, activities and interesting places in Calderdale, visit: Visit Calderdale .

If you would like this information in another format, please phone: 01422 288001.

Although every effort is made to make sure Do Something! details are correct, we suggest you contact event/activity organisers to confirm details.