Category Archives: Health & Wellbeing

MOBILITY: Wheelchair Open Day

NHS Calderdale CCG has announced details of the first drop-in session for wheelchair service users being held by the new provider for Calderdale and Kirklees: Ross Care, in partnership with Blatchford.

Carers, professionals and other stakeholders are also welcome at the session, which is being held so that you can meet the new people behind the service from Ross Care & Blatchford and raise questions about what this new provider means for you, your family and, carers.

The event takes place on 15 October 2019, 12:00pm – 6.00pm at:

Wheelchair Service Centre Unit G7, Navigation Close
Lowfields Business Park
Elland
HX5 9HB

HEALTH: Think Positive!

“Optimists are more likely to live longer than those who have a more negative approach to life, a US study has found,” BBC News reported recently. The Mail Online reports on the same study claiming that “Optimists are up to 70% more likely to live to be 85”.

The study used information collected from male war veterans and female nurses taking part in 2 long-running studies in the US. The participants were around 60 to 70 years old when they completed optimism questionnaires, and the researchers looked at whether optimism was linked to living longer.

People who had the highest optimism scores had a lifespan about 9% longer than those with the lowest scores. But despite media reports, the most optimistic were in fact no more likely to live to age 85. The 70% figure came from a result that had not taken account of all influencing factors.

Ultimately this research cannot prove cause and effect. Both optimism and lifespan may be influenced by many hereditary, health, lifestyle and personal factors. People with a good overall standard of health and wellbeing are probably more likely to be optimistic about their future. While researchers attempted to adjust their analysis for these sort of factors, it’s hard to remove their influence fully.

It’s also questionable how applicable the results of these optimism assessments, taken 15 to 30 years ago from very specific groups of older US nurses and war veterans, are to the general UK population.

Nevertheless the research highlights the importance that mental health and wellbeing can have on physical health.

SURVEY: Science, Technology and Healthy Living

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry to investigate how technology can be used to increase health span and to improve the impacts of ageing.

The Big Issue
Life span has increased in recent decades but health span, the period of time people live in good health, has not kept pace and so people are living longer with ill health. This duration of ill health can be challenging not only for the individual, but is also putting increased pressure on health and social care services.

The UK Government has announced an “Ageing society” Grand Challenge which aims to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035. This inquiry will examine whether the Government’s ambition is achievable, and which science and technology approaches would be most successful in securing this target.

How can you help? 
The Committee want to hear from a wide range of people and organisations with experience and expertise relating to ageing.

Send a written submission on the inquiry webpage. 

Your responses don’t have to be long and they don’t have to cover all the questions- even if you only have expertise or experiences of one question, we want to hear from you.
The questions cover the following topics:

  • The scientific understanding of the ageing process, and how these areas of research could lead to treatments for delaying or managing the negative effects of ageing
  • Technologies that can improve health and wellbeing in old age, and technologies that can enable independent living in old age
  • Opportunities for the UK to commercialise discoveries and innovations relating to healthier ageing
  • The policy implications of a healthier older population

The full list of questions can be found on the Committee webpage.

Submissions will be reviewed to decide whether they will be accepted as evidence.

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 20 September.

REVIEW: Medical News Today

The website Medical News Today is an excellent source of information on a huge range of medical conditions. It publishes new information all the time, including details of the latest studies and research into diseases and conditions.

If you have a medical condition and want to find out more about it and about the current studies and latest treatments, the site is well worth a visit – you can also subscribe to their newsletter.

As ever, we’d recommend that you refer to your GP before considering any treatments and if you are worried about any aspect of your health. However, Medical News Today is a useful resource for reading around any medical subject and may help you to come to terms with your condition or help you to support a relative or friend with an illness.

Here are just a handful of their most recent articles, all aimed at older people:

How to improve your memory: 8 techniques to try
Brain function and memory naturally decline slightly as a person ages, but there are many techniques people can use to improve memory and prevent its loss. Learn about them here.
Social activity in your 60s may lower dementia risk by 12%
One of the most reliable studies of its kind has tracked participants over a 28-year period and found that greater social activity can lower dementia risk.
‘Intensive blood pressure management’ may preserve brain health
Intensively controlling blood pressure can improve brain health and reduce the likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment, new research finds.
Osteoporosis drugs may lower mortality risk by 34%
Two recent studies reveal that people who take the correct medication for osteoporosis appear to have a significantly lower risk of premature death.

HEALTH: Osteoporosis Info

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture). Treatments are available and can be very effective.

The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis include broken wrists, hips and spinal bones. However, breaks can also happen in other bones, such as in the arm or pelvis. Sometimes a cough or sneeze can cause a broken rib or the partial collapse of one of the bones of the spine. Osteoporosis is not usually painful until a bone is broken, but broken bones in the spine are a common cause of long-term pain.

Although a broken bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis, some older people develop the characteristic stooped (bent forward) posture. It happens when the bones in the spine have broken, making it difficult to support the weight of the body.

Osteoporosis can be treated with bone strengthening medicines and treatment can significantly extend a person’s life – Read study of effects of Osteoporosis drugs

The NHS website has an extensive guide to the condition and its treatments – View NHS Guide

SOCIAL: Equality Forum Activities

Calderdale Equality Forum runs various activities that are accessible and open to all – no need to book, just turn up and enjoy! They are all at St Pauls Church, Tower Hill, Sowerby Bridge HX6 2EQ

  • Lunch Club: the last Thursday of every month 12.00-13.30. Cost is free, just 50p for a cup of tea
  • Coffee Morning, followed by Craft Club: every Friday morning. Again cost is free just 50p for a cuppa
  • Friendship Group: every Monday 10-12, same again- FOC and 50p for a cuppa

SOCIAL: New Rastrick Lunch Club

Following the success of their lunch clubs in Copley, Disability Partnership Calderdale will be running a similar series of lunch clubs in Rastrick. Taking place on the third Friday of the month till the end of 2019, these events run from 11am till 2pm and cost £3.99, which includes a 2-course lunch, plus access to a range of optional entertainments. They are also a great chance to socialise and meet new people.

The venue is fully accessible and the events are open to everyone, whether they are disabled or not – however, pre-booking is essential to guarantee a spot.

  • Dates: 20 September, 18 October, 15 November, 20 December
  • Time: 11am – 2pm
  • Venue: The Space@Field Lane, Burnsall Road, Rastrick, Brighouse HD6 3JT
  • Booking: Contact Leanne Jones via leanne@thespaceatfieldlane.org.uk – or call 01484 556 924