Page 1

FREE

Please t

ake on

HIGH WYCOMBE, CHILTERN, & EAST BERKSHIRE DECEMBER - FEBRUARY 2013 EDITION 32

The

Hairy

Bikers

TAKE A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO FOOD

Jean Christophe -

Novelli

THE NATION’S FAVOURITE FRENCH CHEF

Russell Grant THE COMEBACK KID

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk THE LOCAL MAGAZINE

FOR THE OVER 50s

WWW.50PLUSMAGAZINE.CO.UK

e


Discover a new way to experience quality dental care If you are looking for a dentist professional who can expertly address your dental concerns, Twyford Dental & Implant Centre is here to help you do that and so much more.

BDA Good Practice Award-winner Twyford Dental & Implant Centre is guaranteed to give you the general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and dental implant services you need. Twyford Dental & Implant Centre is an award-winning family dental practice that caters to the needs of those who need reliable dentist expertise, headed by award winning Harley Street Dental Implant Dentist and Implantologist, Dr Avik Dandapat. Twyford Dental & Implant Centre in Reading is easily accessible by Train (25 Minutes DIRECT from Paddington Rail Station) and not far from the M4 motorway (Junction 8/9). We provide ourselves on providing the best patient experience with state if the art facilities with your comfort and privacy in mind.

Treatments l Dermarolling l Face Lips & Beauty Treatments l Facial Lines & Wrinkle Treatments l Dermal Fillers Cosmetic Dentistry l Veneers l Same Day Crowns & Veneers l Teeth Whitening ZOOM2 l Laser Gum Sculpting l Smile Makeover l Dental Implants l Invisalign & 6 Month Braces l Six Month Braces l Inman Aligner l Invisalign Clear Braces General Dentistry l Gum Health Treatment l Root Canal Treatment l Crowns l Xrays & CT Scanning l Advanced Care & Surgery l Dental Emergency l Nervous/Dental Phobia Care l NHS Dentistry l Inman Aligner l Six Month Braces

TOOTH WHITENING This can be done in the surgery in an hour, or at home, taking a few applications. Once you have done the initial whitening treatment, why not top-up using a home kit with whitening gel while you are getting ready to go out...for that extra glow!


Single Dental Implant with Crown - £1,400 Many people today are looking to replace missing teeth with Dental Implants but are unsure of what the procedure entails and the costs involved. Here at Twyford Dental & Implant Centre our team look after people like this every day, making sure they have all the correct information to make that important informed decision. Our friendly welcoming staff, help you relax in state of the art surroundings. Dr Avik Dandapat - Award winning Harley Street Dental Implant Dentist is making missing teeth solutions affordable in the UK at his clinic in Reading, Berkshire. We absolutely understand that missing teeth can be devastating for your appearance and confidence. Well, we are here to tell you that Dental Implants are the solution and are now much more affordable than you think. At Twyford Dental we have a reputation for listening and giving you the best information and options to empower you. So that YOU make the decisions. The problems caused by missing teeth need to be addressed - in the soonest possible time. A missing tooth (or missing teeth) can cause difficulties in eating, speaking, or even smiling for a person, and it is natural to look for a solution that will address the problem in a very effective way. Twyford Dental will efficiently and carefully assess a patient’s needs and wants when it comes to missing teeth options, to successfully determine which option will provide the most benefit for the individual in the long term.

Our experience and intensive training in reconstruction enable us to regard the challenge of cosmetic smile improvement as a normal everyday activity. After the initial consultation, we can start planning the enhancement of not only the smile, but the whole face as well - to come up with a result that our client will truly be happy about.

Cost effective treatment that won’t cost the earth Many people are under the illusion that implant treatments are expensive and only for the rich and famous and it’s not within their budget. This is no longer the case, implants start from as little as £999 for a single tooth fully restored with a crown - roughly half the price of most clinics.

We can even offer 0% finance available for 10 months to spread the cost. So why wait? Book a free appointment today and allow

What are Dental Implants?

our experienced team to give you a free

Dental Implants, in essence, are substitutes for the root of a natural tooth. The implant is a cylinder made of titanium, which is then placed directly into the jaw bone. These implants replace the function of both the tooth and its root, providing a patient with the most efficient replacements for missing natural teeth. A dental implant system has three parts:

consultation, in return we promise to

l

The implant itself

l

Abutment - a small piece made from either ceramic or titanium, which is connected to the implant and then protrudes through the gums to the oral cavity

l

provide you with a treatment plan you thoroughly understand, can afford and that could reinvent your smile.

Dental Crown - the prosthetic tooth which is cemented or anchored to the abutment; this replaces the form and function of the missing tooth.

Call us on 0800 917 7551 Twyford Dental & Implant Centre 3 Church Street Twyford Reading RG10 9DN.

See Website for all offers. Watch our patient video clips.

www.dentalimplantcentre.com


8-9

10-11

inside... TRAVEL & LEISURE 8-9 Malta Travel to a touch of England in the Med. 30-31 Out & About What’s going on in your area?

12-13

16-17

INTERVIEW 12-13 Russell Grant... The Comeback Kid.

FOOD & DRINK 16-17 The Hairy Bikers... Take a scientific approach to food.

18-19

22-23

18-19 Jean-Christophe Novelli The nation’s favourite French chef.

HEALTH 10-11 Keeping Well in Winter Exercise, eat well and socialise! 33

Cataracts Optimax explain the warning signs

HOME 22-23 Changing Rooms Tips and advice for your home.

30-31

33

McGrath Media. Unit 6 | Moses Gate Workshops Gladys Street | Bolton | BL3 2QG. T: (01204) 796 494 | F: (01204) 791594 e: mcgrathadmin@btconnect.com

YOUR LOCAL MOBILITY SHOP You Talk, We Listen - Family Run - Since 1998

Chairs • Beds • Scooters • Walking Aids • Wheelchais • Wide Fit Footwear • Small Aids • Bath Aids • Stairlifts • & more Two large showrooms with free parking, spanning over 2,000sq ft & packed with aids & equipment to try or buy Adjustable Bed & Comfort / Riser Chair Specialists - Over 15 years experience - Stricly no pressure sales Unit 10, Woodway, Princes Risborough (nr Aylesbury), HP27 0NN 01844 273050 - Risborough@bucksmobility.com

10 Cross Court, Downley, High Wycombe, HP13 5UW 01494 443933 - Downley@bucksmobility.com

Can’t get to us? Call! We will come to you. Alternatively you can browse and buy online at

www.independentlivingconsultants.co.uk


HAVING A TWITTER with Graham Smith Things ain’t what they used to be

You must be joking

The size of Waggon Wheels says a lot about the state of this country in my opinion. I was chatting, tweeting even, to a friend the other day and he set me thinking because he was dreadfully upset about his Penguin bar, almost in tears he was.

What passes for humour today often leaves me cold. Winner of the top joke at the Edinburgh Fringe was Stewart Francis with the offering, “Know who gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”

They’re just not the same any more, and when I mentioned Waggon Wheels he almost had apoplexy. “They’re like tiddlywinks compared to when I was a lad,” he sobbed. I had to agree. I don’t have a sweet tooth often but I have noticed that since we joined the Common Market, or whatever we’re supposed to call it now, things have not been the same. Jelly babies have become positively embryonic, wine gums have become a third of the size they were when I was at school and when did you last see a whopping great tomato in a supermarket? You won’t, because the supermarkets now employ people to make sure all fruit and veg is of virtual uniformity and colour. The tomatoes have to stand to attention every morning while some sergeant major of an attendant inspects them and anything over a centimetre bigger than its neighbour is probably splatted with a swagger stick.

Oh come on you can do better than that! What happened to the golden age which produced real comics such as Morecambe and Wise, Les Dawson and Dave Allen? They could not only deliver the stuff with immaculate timing but write it as well. Their actions and expressions were funny and they didn’t have to resort to the vernacular vulgarity so often seen at televised fringe events where the laughter is canned and the comic probably should be. Stewart Francis by the way is Canadian, which, if you’ve had a drink or two, sounds like comedian.

If a banana curves at more than the prescribed EU definition it is fed to the local zoo, gooseberries have been ordered to the barbers if they are too hairy, the list is endless. I recall that Rileys toffee rolls were twice their size in my youth. We bought them in loose “quarters” then, that was sensible measurement, but now they’re shrunk wrapped in at least three layers of cellophane which is more designed to keep the flavour out than in. Mars bars are in serious danger of extinction if they get any smaller and gobstoppers simply can’t compete. So why are we a nation of increasingly obese people if everything is getting smaller? That’s easy. Every café now seems to be serving “mega all day breakfasts” with enormous helpings of greasy spoon material, pizzas are getting bigger and it seems to be the norm now to walk down the street eating large pastries, spitting crumbs everywhere and heeding no one because there is a piece of electrical equipment plugged into every bodily orifice. Give it five years and some of these kids won’t know what birdsong and traffic sound like.

There is one saving grace to it all though, if they are run over by a Waggon Wheel it won’t do much damage.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

The Swansea tribe I have a fondness for quirky people and had to smile at the Swansea man who lives as an Apache Indian and was almost prosecuted for wanting to turn badger paws and eagle wings into a headress. Mangas Colaradas, 60, was due to stand trial for keeping protected wild animal parts but the Crown Prosecution dropped the case. He brought the bits back from Spain, where he lived in a tepee, to his three-bed semi in Swansea. He refused to reveal his real name and appeared in court wearing a ceremonial headdress, tassled suede jacket, moccasins and a snake’s head necklace. He said, “I wear this all the time, I’m not just some weekend Indian. I don’t put it on to show off, I put it on because I want to wear it.”

Geronimo! You tell ‘em Mangas.

5


JOIN TODAY AND discover the secret 62 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ALREADY KNOW

Use this PREVIEW

PASS to view our Reading Warehouse

Name : Address :

Postcode : Tel : email :

Identification for eligibility required. Purchases may only be made once full membership is obtained.

COSTCO USE ONLY

Authorised by:

Date :

CASH & CARRY MEMBERSHIP WAREHOUSE CLUB


Did you know, as a

Retired Employee you may qualify for Costco Membership? Costco is a membership warehouse club that sells a wide selection of top quality brand name merchandise at low warehouse prices. Speciality departments include Fresh Deli and Produce, In-House Bakery and Butchery, Service Deli, Cafe, Tyre Centre, Opticians, Fine Wines, Beers and Spirits, Electrical Appliances and much much more! Individual Membership You qualify for Individual Membership if you belong to specific employment groups – please see below for details of qualifying categories. To join Costco and start saving please provide your employee ID card or current pay slip to prove your employer, PLUS a current utility bill (electricity, gas, telephone, water) or a bank statement addressed to your home. The annual membership fee for Standard Individual Membership is £25 (plus VAT), which includes a complimentary card for your spouse or domestic partner. The annual membership fee for Executive Individual Membership is £55 (plus VAT), which also includes a complimentary card for your spouse or domestic partner. Executive Individuals earn a 2% Reward on most purchases up to a maximum of £300 per year, and receive this in their annual renewal notice, to use against goods in the warehouse. Individual Members Eligibility Criteria Retired employee of: Banking/Finance, Civil Servant, Education, Fire/Rescue, Insurance, Local Government, Medical/Health Service, Police Force, Post Office, Airline. You can join online: visit www.costco.co.uk/membership

For membership queries, or for further information about Costco please contact the Membership Team at Costco Reading:

Call 0118 920 7100 or email marketing114@costco.co.uk

Accepted methods of payment: cash, cheque, debit card or American Express. Membership must be obtained before purchases can be made.

Costco Reading 100 South Oak Way, Green Park Reading Berks RG2 6UE T: 0118 920 7100 E: marketing114@costco.co.uk Central Membership: 01923 830 477 www.costco.co.uk


50 Plus Travel

sponsored by

MALTA Travel to a touch of England in the Med

By Peter Lynch Journalist, rail and wildlife specialist, contributor to Great Train Journeys of the World and Silver Travel Advisor

Malta is a fabulous Mediterranean destination especially if you dislike the hassle of foreign languages. Everyone speaks good to perfect English yet Malta retains all the charm of the Mediterranean.

bureaucrats have forced the withdrawal of the famous orange vintage Leyland and Bedford buses.

The universality of English is down to Malta being part of the British Empire from 1814 until 1964 but strangely it was not one of the Empires conquests. In the Napoleonic era Malta was between a rock and a hard place - at risk of being invaded by the French and the Russians. It opted for the protection of the British Empire and subsequently played a crucial role in defeating Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa during WWII.

The Upper Barrakka Gardens provide a must-see harbour and city view and the Grand Master’s palace and armoury is a must. Don’t be put off by the plain exterior of St John cathedral; it belies a fabulous Baroque interior and a famous painting by Caravaggio.

It’s a tiny place, significantly smaller than the Isle of Wight, with a familiar yet foreign ambience. They have the highest density of catholic priests outside the Vatican City, produce and explode more fireworks per head than anywhere else on earth and eat an unbelievable number of rabbits. Of course, they drive on the left and something I love is how it’s kept some of the classic images from my childhood – old red telephone boxes, red post boxes and blue lights outside police stations. Sadly EU

8

The World Heritage listed capital of Valletta is Europe’s first planned city, laid out in a grid system of streets and alleyways. The Knights of St John built it on a peninsula as a defence against the Turks during the sixteenth century.

Valletta’s real charm is its ambience, so it’s important to sit in an outdoor cafe and soak up the palpable sense of history rather than just rushing around the sites –the perfect excuse for loafing. But all this is just recent history; Malta’s prehistoric megalithic temples are older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids. It’s a dream destination for historians and reads like a textbook of western civilisation, probably with more human history packed into its122 sq miles than anywhere else on earth. There are 23 prehistoric sites dating back 6,000 years including the impressive megalithic temples of Taraxien and Hagar Qim but the subterranean

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


Valletta’s real charm is its ambience, so it’s important to sit in an outdoor cafe and soak up the palpable sense of history... on Malta en-route to Rome and his indelible legacy of Christianity is still evident in the islands 360 churches. The marks of Norman and Arab conflicts are everywhere on the island, culminating with the spectacular city of Valletta built by the Knights of St John in 1566. Malta’s history rolls on involving the Spanish Empire; Napoleon predictably turned up and of course the British. But its not history that makes Malta one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations - it’s the glorious weather, the friendly people, the Mediterranean lifestyle and the convenience of English speakers. When Malta’s history, shopping and nightlife pall the 20-minute ferry across to Gozo is like moving to another country. It is Malta’s exclusive hideaway island with a pastoral ambience compared to Malta’s brasher tourist developments. Everything runs at a slower pace on Gozo.

hypogeum of Hal Saflieni is perhaps the most breathtaking. It is the only known underground prehistoric temple. Not much is known about these ancient temple builders or their mysterious parallel ‘cart tracts’ gouged into the limestone. They’ve been likened to a complex railway junction (Clapham Junction) because they criss-cross the landscape and some even disappear off the edge of the cliff - creating an endless source of myths and legends. Homer’s Odyssey tells of Ulysses being shipwrecked on the nearby island of Gozo where Calypso captivated him on his journey back from Troy to Ithaca in Greece. Then there are the Phoenicians from the Biblical cities of Tyre and Sidon who traded and settled Malta until ousted by the Roman’s. St Paul was also shipwrecked

The islands capital of Rabat was renamed Victoria in 1897 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond jubilee but its still the beautiful quant town of alleyways, cafes and little shops it always was. The imposing walled citadel sheltered people from the marauding corsairs who plagued island communities throughout the Mediterranean. Gozo has its share of prehistoric monuments such as the Ggantija temple - supposedly built by giantesses and more mysterious ‘cart ruts’. The impressive Romanesque Basilica of Ta Pinu dominates the Gozitan skyline and has become a local shrine with a Lourdes-like status for miracle cures. Inside the walls are adorned with artificial limbs and other relics left by grateful pilgrims.

So don’t bother with a history book in Malta, just stroll around and let it all seep in, and between momentous historical events you’ll be able to find a perfect pasta and a decent pint of beer.

Silver Travel Advisor is a travel review, information and advice website exclusively for over 50’s, packed with articles, suggestions, tips and ideas. For free and independent travel advice as well as reviews about holidays, hotels, restaurants and days out, please visit www.silvertraveladvisor.com or email service@silvertraveladvisor.com. It’s free to register as a member of Silver Travel Advisor, and you could win a fabulous holiday prize.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

9


KEEPING WELL

IN WINTER KEEPING well is more important than ever in Winter because it’s a time of nasty bugs that can lay you low and cold weather that can depress your immune system. There are, though, plenty of easy things you can do to ensure that this Winter is a healthier and happier one for you. And, with the current recession and stretched household budgets in mind, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. First of all, do ensure that you keep well and flu-free. Injections that prevent flu are given free right across the country to people over a certain age or with particular preexisting conditions. So it’s definitely worth checking with your GP about availability. Failing that, branches of Boots and supermarkets including Tesco provide a flu jabs’ service in their pharmacy departments for a very reasonable fee. Flu is a major seasonal killer in this country so it’s definitely worth taking this easy preventive step. Find out more about this year’s flu strains and other relevant details at NHS choices on www.nhs.uk Keeping in good health during chilly months also means ensuring, for example, your eyesight is good so book an eye test if you’ve not had one for a while. Poor eyesight can lead to falls, especially outside the home, which can result in major injuries and mobility problems. Eat and drink well, whatever your household finances. It’s also vital to keep hydrated properly with six to eight glasses of liquid like water, juice, milk or fruit squash each day. Avoid fizzy drinks as they contain a lot of sugar and calories, but do have plenty of hot drinks. Ensure you maintain a balanced diet by eating from the five main food groups: fruit and vegetables; starchy foods; meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans lentils and nuts; milk and dairy foods and fat, sugar and salt. Fruit and vegetables are particularly important as they’re full of minerals, fibre and antioxidant vitamins to help bodies work efficiently and support our immune systems. They can be fresh or frozen, dried, canned or juiced and

should make up around a third of our diet – aim for five portions a day. Do have valuable protein in meat or fish. You don’t need to buy expensive cuts to eat well – invest in a slow cooker, or pop a dish in the oven early and cook it slowly to make the most of cheap cuts of meat. Add plenty of vegetables for an easy, cheap dish that makes a warming, nutritious meal. And if you don’t think your diet is giving you all the vitamins you need, start taking a supplement. Supermarkets have their own good-value ranges and taking one or two well-chosen supplements can make a real difference to your wellbeing. Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain our health and independence. Help prevent falls by keeping muscles strong and challenging our balance. Walking, gardening, Tai Chi and dancing are great examples of exercise for any age and state of health but check with your GP first. It is very important to get out and about in Winter, too. Being closer to nature gives us a psychological boost – with greenery, water and mountains especially giving the ability to cheer us up. When added to the natural mood enhancement we get from exercise, and the selfsatisfaction from doing something that takes more selfmotivation, then the Winter blues don’t stand a chance! Exercising in daylight also increases production of Vitamin D, you get a boost to your immune system - the good news is that you also burn more calories by exercising in the cold, around 12 per cent. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather, dress in layers so you can take them off as you warm up, and wear a hat and gloves to reduce heat loss from extremities.

FREE 2 DAY PASS FOR 50 PLUS MAGAZINE READERS

Just simply fill in your details below and bring the slip along to Nuffield Health Stoke Poges and enjoy your 2 free day pass.

Name .............................................................................................. Tel No ............................................................................... Address .................................................................................................................................................................................... Email .........................................................................................................................................................................................

Nuffield Health Stoke Poges, Wexham Street, SL3 6NB. T: 01753 663666. For more details see back cover.


Exercising in a gym can also be a sensible part of your regular routine. Many local councils run sessions in gyms so go on your local authority website to see about available sessions, and about free swimming sessions in your local pool. Private gyms often have advantageous rates for older people attending at off-peak times, and they usually run special sessions, too, often with the emphasis on overall health. Penny Brewer, clinic manager at the Nuffield Health, fitness and wellbeing centre in Stoke Poges, says that in organisations like theirs the emphasis is less on simply fitness and more on quality of life and a healthy lifestyle. In fact, they’re introducing a new wellbeing membership from January specifically to reflect the growing interest in individuals taking positive steps with their health. “We take a holistic view and aim to keep people healthy by identifying areas of concern before they develop into medical issues,” she explains. “Someone who has been really slim naturally, for example, may have felt they didn’t need to make a real effort to keep fit and well. But then they may find themselves developing problems later. We’re looking to identify the risk factors, and address them as early as possible.” Penny also stresses that “it’s never too late to change your lifestyle for the better.” She also believes that mental wellbeing is equally important “which is why we often see people here who just come for a coffee and a chat rather than go to the gym. Meeting friends and chatting, getting out and about and having social contact is very important, especially in the Winter.”

The Movers & Shakers project is a great way to ease back into fitness. If you are feeling isolated, as some older people often can, then the project can really help you. Movers & Shakers (M&S) is an award-winning programme that engages older adults, and encourages them to lead healthier lifestyles. The project is innovative and inclusive, supporting healthy ageing and wellbeing for older adults, enabling them to live, independent lives for longer. This is what our members say: “Exercising alone is not good so being with others helps. I also enjoy the social side and just coming out. It’s all good and I would say to anyone ‘Come and try it’.” “ I have difficulty in walking so was interested in the sitting position to do exercise”. “I never left my room to go out and now I have lots of new friends” In recognition for its good practice and innovation, Movers & Shakers won first prize in the Mental Health and Wellbeing category at the 2010 NHS South Central Health and Social Care Awards. Currently, there are seven Movers & Shakers projects established in High Wycombe. To have a FREE taster session, cut out the Voucher in the advert and give Sheila or Olga a call.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

Look out for a Movers & Shakers Project near you Residents and local people over 60 are welcome to join in to all 3 parts or just the one of their choice. So if you have lost your Get up and Go come along and find how to get it back. You won’t believe it until you have tried.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 1. 1 hr mental stimulation craft/games/discussion/Talk 2. 1 hr exercise to build strength and stability 3. 1 hr for lunch and a chat

Costs are around

a morning

Barrow Croft, Hicks Farm Rise and Chichester Cl Aged Persons Units in Red Kite Housing sites in High Wycombe. Caribbean & Chinese style in Trinity Look Church on the Rye and Castlefield style in out for the Movers & Shakers Project The Avenue Methodist Church. to Community rooms in: coming this Autumn

Look out for the Mo

“Attending the sessions makes Parsonage Close, Ch me feelResidents younger andoverrejuvenated”. and local people 55 are all welcome Accommoda

Parsonage Close, Chichester Ct and Barrow Croftcoming this Autu Accommodation for Older People If you have lost your Get up and Go, Come along, Join in and Get it back. Try it; believe it and Feel Good again.

Contact Sheila Bees 01494 421714 Residents and local If you have or Olga Mc Stronger Barnett 01494 arms give better hugs! 555579 Come along Move More Often

Try it; believ

Stronger a Mo

1st Session FREE

Supported by Wycombe District Council - Health Promotion, Bucks Sport Reactivate Programme and NHS Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Cluster - Community Development Team.

with this voucher

For further info contact: Sheila on 01494 421714 or Olga on 10494 555579.

Supported by Wycombe District Council NHS Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Clu

11

For further info contact: Sheila o


RUSSELL GRANT: THE COMEBACK KID When Russell Grant first danced into the hearts of the viewing millions on “Strictly Come Dancing” last year his stars might well have predicted great success and a comeback of cosmic proportions. For arguably Britain’s favourite astrologer may not have won the series – well, let’s face it, his dancing was more entertainment than excellence – but the live audiences and those at home loved him. And for Russell this TV appearance provided a passport back to fame. Born in Middlesex, Russell was brought up in a council house by his set designer father Frank and secretary mother Joan who both worked at Pinewood Studios. His parents separated when he was 11 and he moved in with his maternal grandmother but, in spite of the upheaval, Russell has always said he had a happy childhood. He worked as a Butlins’ Redcoat and trained as an actor, appearing in a variety of shows. While working in Blackpool, Russell met his partner Doug Beaumont and the two have been together for almost 40 years. Although Russell first came to prominence in 1978 after he held an astrological reading for the Queen Mother which led to him being dubbed “Astrologer Royal”, his theatre, TV and film career was surprisingly comprehensive and successful. It spanned more than 30 musicals and comedies, including work as varied as touring with “The King and I” to TV’s “On 12

The Buses”, “Please Sir!” and “The Fenn Street Gang”. He’s been in “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” in the West End and was an effective panto dame in shows all over the country. However, TV beckoned and it was Russell’s fascination with astrology and his exuberant personality that brought him before the nation, first on Yorkshire TV and then on Granada TV where he was a regular onscreen explaining the daily horoscopes. From there he moved to breakfast TV with BBC’s “Breakfast Time” and later to TV-am as resident astrologer on “Good Morning.” A broadcasting natural and popular presenter, this role soon broadened to presenting other shows including celebrity quiz “Star Choice”. He later had his own six-episode series “Russell Grant’s All Star Show.” He worked for Channel 5 just after it was launched and directed and starred in “Russell Grant’s Postcards”, a collection of more than 100 five-minute travelogues produced by his own company Russell Grant World Productions. Russell worked solidly on a number of TV projects, with his astrology skills ever present, and he wrote a number of popular newspaper columns and horoscopes in regional newspapers throughout the country as well as in various magazines. Like many TV personalities, however, his star waned for a while. In 2006, he took part in the fourth series of “Celebrity Fit Club” and lost over three stone, but he later suffered from depression and his weight rocketed, this time to 26 stone. He became something of a recluse at the 30-acre Snowdonia estate that he shares with Doug but, being Russell Grant and

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


INTERVIEW a trouper, determined that the show must go on, he began losing weight – around 10 stone in two and a half years by disco dancing each day for half an hour! In 2011, an online group called “Get Russell on Strictly” finally persuaded TV executives to have him as a contestant on the show. In September last year, he burst onto our screens with his lovely professional dancing partner Flavia Cacace. Surprisingly light on his feet and with genuine rhythm, Russell sported a number of colourful and outrageous costumes and certainly won the day with viewers.

highly successful run followed which enhanced and revived Russell’s theatrical reputation once more. The production also brought him under the dancing wing of choreographer and dance teacher Arlene Phillips – “She even had me dancing the Charleston”, said Russell. Following his memorable appearance in the hit musical, Russell has been brought in as a guest star for a new tour of the show “Grease”, taking the role of Teen Angel at various venues including Newcastle, Llandudno, Southseas, Wimbledon, Dartford and for a one-week run in Manchester in October.

In fact, they kept him in the knock-out programme until late November – in spite of much criticism from the judges, in particular the often acerbic Craig Revel Horwood. The abiding memory of Russell from the series, however, is of him being shot from a cannon as part of one particularly fun number!

He’s back working with Arlene Phillips, whom Russell insists is his “dance sister.” “Arlene brought out the very best in me working on ‘The Wizard of Oz’,” he stated. “So when she said I was right for Teen Angel and, if I took the part, she’d create the choreography, how could I resist!”

This great revival by the “comeback kid” caught the attention of the famous musical writer and producer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. He invited Russell to return to the West End stage – and the Palladium Theatre where he’d last performed 34 years before – and take part in a three-month stint replacing Michael Crawford as the “Wizard of Oz” in a new production.

The sparkly suit and no doubt mesmerising performances are bound to leave the audience hopelessly devoted to Mr Grant’s special charms again. And it’s one more dancing role which he now loves, as he explained: “Teen Angel has a Strictly twist and shimmy which captures the joy of dance I’ve been lucky enough to have discovered.”

“I was worried as I was due to have an operation on my knee,” commented Russell. “I’m 61 now. At this age you know your limitations. But you also sense your mortality. So there was a two-way thing going on. I was trying to talk myself out of it, thinking ‘Can’t I just go back to Wales?’”

As for the future, who knows? Russell hasn’t set himself any special showbiz boundaries and his fans are never surprised – just happy to see their favourite star once more ascending.

Fortunately, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Russell’s close friend Lulu convinced him the part was right for him, and a

Christmas Reader Offer

Give the gift of flight this Christmas

Up to

50% off balloon rides from

Celebration gift pack

£89pp

Virgin Balloon Flights are offering readers 25% off magical sunrise balloon flights with their national weekday morning vouchers (usually £119 per person) for just £89pp including: • An unforgettable balloon flight of around an hour • 100+ locations across mainland Britain including Willen Lake in Milton Keynes & Aylesbury • Traditional Champagne toast (or soft drink) • Flight certificate endorsed by Sir Richard Branson • 12 months to book your flight & transport back to your launch site

You can also save 50% off Celebration Packages (RRP £279pp) at just £139pp including evening and weekend flights, 18 months to book, plus a Virgin Balloon Flights gift pack with cap, key ring, pen, pre-flight DVD, binoculars and an engraved Champagne flute.

Call 0844 844 8073 & quote ‘wycombe50plus’ or visit virginballoonflights.co.uk/offer/wycombe50plus before February 13th, 2013

Terms & conditions Reader offer valid until February 13th,2013. Price is for one person including VAT at applicable rate and standard delivery and cannot be used with any other offer. Flying season is March to October. Passengers must be aged 7 or over and at least 4’6” tall. Passengers who are pregnant or have recently undergone major surgery are unable to fly. Virgin Balloon Flights reserves the right to withdraw the offers or amend these conditions at any time. Full conditions at www.virginballoonflights.co.uk/legalstuff

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

13


Who are the victims of Benefit Fraud?

YOU ARE ! • The actions of these people affect every man, woman & child in the U.K. • It is costing the country over £900million per year. • It costs every household in the UK about £36 per year, this money could buy: • 13,000 Doctors. • 20,000 Police officers. • 23,000 Teachers. Housing Benefit helps many people on low incomes. Sadly there are many people who claim when they are not entitled. These people make fraudulent claims by: • • • • •

Withholding information Exaggerating details Forgetting to report changes Overlooking savings or investments Setting out to commit fraud

This could be • Working and not declaring this income • Claiming as a single person but living with a partner. • Claiming for an address, but not living there. • Not fully declaring financial position at start of claim.

WE ALL HAVE A MORAL DUTY TO REPORT BENEFIT FRAUD, TO PROTECT YOUR HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS AND LOCAL SERVICES

WE NEED YOUR HELP!


0800 015 8995 Â fraudinvestigations@wycombe.gov.uk 24


THE

HAIRY BIKERS

take a scientific approach to food

Dave Myers and Simon King alias The Hairy Bikers were in the middle of a regime of diet and exercise when we chatted, recalls Angela Kelly. Yes, sorry, I know you’ll probably have to read that sentence again. Those two well-covered foodies? Diet? Exercise? Fear not. It’s all in the cause of a new cookery book about dieting and Dave and Simon had thrown themselves into both food and exercise regimes with the kind of enthusiasm they normally reserve for a piece of garlic-dripping Italian foccaccia bread or a couple of their favourite beers. “Yes, I know,” explains Simon, the blonde Geordie member of the famous chef duo. “It doesn’t sound like us, but obesity is a real problem in this country at the moment, hen, and we’re just trying to help.” As a result, Simon, aged 45, had been hitting the gym regularly – “and it’s working. I’m not sure how much weight I’ve lost because I’ve got some dodgy scales that say 20 stone 5lb one minute and 14 stone 8lb the next, but I know I can get into some jeans I couldn’t before. Mind you, I’m still a fat lad!” he roars familiarly.

16

Dave, at 55, sounds like he’s taken a more scientific approach to the subject. He’s lost a stone and a half, has taken up boxing but still manages to sound incredulous when he says :”Do y’know, I’m actually enjoying the sessions.” You might be forgiven for not putting “weight-loss” and “The Hairy Bikers” in the same sentence because the likeable lads have spent the past eight years showing us what fun food can be – both making it and eating it. They’ve travelled around the UK and across the globe gathering culinary experiences and footage for their TV series, astride some seriously large motorbikes. Their trademark has been making new friends via food, cooking in people’s homes and generally acting as brilliant ambassadors for the best dishes that people can make for themselves. “The new cookery book will still be about food, though,” states Dave, the darker, bespectacled one. “It’s just that we’ll be showing good food that you can easily make with fewer calories in it so it won’t put too much weight on.” The two were speaking ahead of their country-wide tour that started in September and takes in many venues over the coming months, from Barrow in Furness to Bolton and Lowestoft to Liverpool. It’s their first live tour since their last sell-out tour two years ago, and it sounds like their usual eclectic mix of fun, socialising and, er, some cooking.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


INTERVIEW “It’s definitely not two blokes on a sofa talking about food,” laughs Dave. “There’s loads going on. We’re having strip tombola and an escapologist – oh, and we’ll be doing the tango. We’ll also have a couple of people from the audience having a meal with wine and beer on the stage with us. We love that, and so do they!”

They’ve also sold millions of cookery books linked to the series, and now earned themselves a BAFTA nomination for their Meals on Wheels programmes. These highlighted the vital visiting service to the elderly, and they also tried – successfully - to put the emphasis back on regular freshly-cooked meals for them.

In fact, Dave and Simon love most things about their lives currently, although it wasn’t always as easy or straightforward. Both grew up with ailing parents: Dave’s mum had Multiple Sclerosis and Simon’s Dad was on kidney dialysis.

They’re both delighted about the nomination and, Simon insists, they hope the subject will continue to catch the public imagination because it’s an important one. “In the series, it wasn’t Dave and I who were the stars of the show but all these marvellous older people,” he insists.

For Dave, who was born when his father was 55, his earliest memory of cooking is when he was around eight helping his mum bake bread, simple fruit scones and a Victoria sponge. As an older dad, his father was able to spend plenty of time with Dave, although from around the age of 13 it was Dave who did the bulk of the cooking at home. He later went to art school “but I was a better cook than an artist,” he recalls. It was when he became a make-up artist specialising in prosthetics and was working on the set of a Catherine Cookson TV drama that he met Simon, then a first assistant director and locations’ manager. The two shared a love of bikes and food, began cooking together – and a legend was born. Simon’s first foodie memory is of making sandwiches, strangely enough “with the crusts taken off and cut into little triangles”, when he was about six and helping in the kitchen. “But most of the time I was just off out scrambling about, no time to cook!” he says, with that gentle rumbling roar of laughter bubbling up. Their first programmes for the BBC eight years ago were more travelogue than cookery show, but the emphasis gradually changed to the enjoyable format that has attracted so many viewers today.

“They’ve got the most wonderful cookery knowledge themselves. It’s so important for older people to keep on cooking good food like they always did, and share their skills with their grandchildren to keep these going and become a real legacy.” The two Northerners and their easygoing style has already been credited with tickling taste-buds at home and abroad, whether that’s sampling breads in Poland or guzzling nougat in the French town of Montelimar. But it’s plain they are genuinely passionate about all that’s best in food and sharing the enthusiasm to create it. Although the new cookery book has a dietary theme, food enjoyment as always comes first. “We’ll be doing dishes like a really tasty cassoulet and a great Masala Spatchcock Chicken,” states Dave.

As for the problematic weight-loss, they’re both confident they can lead this new campaign trimly from the front. “Well,” adds Simon, “If God is good and he keeps me off the brown ale!”

For details of tour dates and venues go to www.hairybikers.com


THE NATION’S FAVOURITE FRENCH CHEF Jean-Christophe Novelli is a 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and Michelin award winning chef and he has been dubbed the “the nation’s favourite French chef ”. Exclusively for Port Salut, Jean-Christophe has created two French themed recipes and a series of tips for creating the perfect cheeseboard. “Port Salut is a classic French cheese which I have always enjoyed, so I was delighted to be asked to work with the brand. For the recipes I have used Port Salut to give traditional French dishes a new twist and I hope my cheeseboard tips will give your cheese course a whole new lease of life.”

CHAR GRILLED CHICKEN, LEEK, PORT SALUT AND BUTTON MUSHROOM FRICASSEE, WHOLE MEAL CROUTON INGREDIENTS 4 x skinned and boneless chicken supreme’s (cut into thin strips) 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into thin slices 2 x spring onions (trimmed and chopped into thin roundels) 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed) 100g chestnut or button mushrooms (sliced) 100g grated Port Salut 50g breadcrumbs 50g grated Port Salut 75ml double cream 25g butter 1 bunch of chives (chopped) 4 slices of wholemeal bread (cut into fingers) 25ml olive oil 1/2 tsp dried herbs 1/2 glass white wine

METHOD 1. Heat a char grill skillet until very hot, brush the chicken strips with some of the oil and season with salt and pepper and your favourite spice, paprika is good as is cumin or garam marsala. 2. Quickly char grill the chicken pieces until well coloured and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and keep warm. 3. In a large saucepan melt the butter over a low heat. 4. Add the leek and spring onion and sweat until tender. 5. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender and softened. 6. Add the white wine and the cream and allow to boil 7. Add the 100g of Port Salut and continue to simmer until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick. Add the chives. 8. Add the strips of chicken and stir in to coat with the sauce. 9. Place in an oven proof serving dish. 10. In a small mixing bowl combine the 50g of Port Salut with the breadcrumbs and scatter this over the top. 11. Bake in a pre heated oven until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the cheese has melted.

FOR THE WHOLEMEAL CROUTONS METHOD 1. Place the bread fingers on a baking tray. 2. Brush with olive oil & dried herbs and season with cracked pepper 3. Bake in a hot oven until crisp and golden brown. Serve on a side plate with the chicken and leek fricassee.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

Jean-Christophe Novelli has produced these tips exclusively for Port Salut. Visit www.portsalut.co.uk for more info.


CRISPY GRANARY BRUSCHETTA, POACHED EGG, SPINACH AND A PORT SALUT GLAZE. INGREDIENTS 4 eggs (free range, large) 2-3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar 4 thick slices of ciabattas bread 25ml olive oil 1/2 tsp dried herbs 400g washed baby spinach leaves 100ml double cream 4 egg yolks 100g Port Salut (grated) 50g butter (optional) Sprinkle of ground nutmeg

METHOD 1. Place the slices of ciabattas on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil and season with dried herbs, salt and pepper. 2. Place in a hot oven and bake until crisp and golden brown. 3. Place on four plates or a serving dish. 4. In a large sauce pan heat plenty of water to boiling point. 5. Add a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar and season to taste with salt. 6. Once boiling stir with a whisk to start a circular motion in the water and crack in the eggs one at a time, bring to the boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes if a soft egg is required, a little longer for a firmer egg and 5-7 minutes for a hard poached egg. 7. Keep the eggs warm in the water until needed. 8. In a sauce pan bring the cheese to the boil, reduce for a few minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat. 9. Stir in the Port Salut and the eggs, allow the cheese to melt 10. In a frying pan add half the butter if used and add the spinach cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to the boil allow the water from the spinach to cook the leaves and when soft and wilted strain to remove any excess water remaining. 11. Season with salt and pepper and spoon an equal amount onto each ciabatta bruschetta. 12. Top with an egg and mask with the cheese and cream mix. 13. Place under a hot grill until bubbling and golden brown. 14. Garnish with some snipped chives and serve.

CHEESEBOARD THEATRE TIPS 1. Add some flavoured texture to your cheeseboard by dropping plain bread in favour of a fruit & nut bread such as apricot & walnut or prune & hazelnut and serve it slightly stale, cut into thin wafer slices 2. Fruit and cheese are a classic combination but give your grapes some extra character by serving them frozen – simply wash a bunch of grapes and shake off any excess water, place on a plate and pop in the freezer, serve directly once frozen onto the cheeseboard giving a more interesting texture with extra bite 3. Add a simple twist on the traditional by pairing your cheese with fruit that has a sharp acidity such as: cherries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, nectarines and tangy plums – these work well frozen too 4. Turn your cheeseboard into a visual feast by serving long celery stems in a vase of ice water. Team with a small bowl of rock salt too for dipping 5. Radishes are a tasty substitute to celery providing a peppery bite, leave a little stem on each on to hold on to and these can also be dipped in the rock salt 6. A fashionable alternative to the classic chutney is quince jelly – its sweet flavour will add a different dimension to your cheeseboard 7. Spice up your cheeseboard with a handful of sliced chillies or jalapenos, to give a flavoursome punch. This works particularly well with hard cheeses – these will complement the quince jelly too 8. Tantalise tastebuds with a rollercoaster ride of textures and flavours by adding olives and nuts to your cheeseboard 9. For an unexpected flavour, add some ground coffee beans to your board. A little sprinkle will give your cheeseboard a delicious edge 10. Use dried vine leaves, herb sprigs and edible flowers to add more drama, aroma and taste to your cheeseboard


The Word is Out:

Greyhounds make great pets You may have heard the latest news that greyhounds make great pets, but what is all the fuss about? Can the fastest dog breed alive fit in with the lifestyle of Britain’s families? We’ve answered a few of the most common questions from those thinking about adopting a retired greyhound.

Q. Are greyhounds highly strung? A. No. They are naturally calm and rather self-possessed. As a breed they have been around for a very long time and they are genuine thoroughbreds.

Q. Are greyhounds good with children? A. They are as good as any dog and better than most, because of their characteristic gentleness. Most greyhounds never get their fill of fuss and are happy to be hugged and loved by children.

Q. Are there character differences between males and females? A. The differences between greyhound genders tends to be less pronounced than in many other breeds. Spaying or castrating can normally relieve most behavioural problems and is recommended.

Q. How much exercise do they need? A. Surprisingly, they need very little. Twenty minutes, twice a day is usually more than enough. While greyhounds are sprinters, they use up their energy in short bursts so short, slower walks are preferred.

Q. Will I need a special bed for the dog? A. No. An old quilt folded in two is perfect. But they are used to sleeping off the ground and will need no encouragement to take over your bed as well as your settee. They do like to stretch out and get into all sorts of unique sleeping positions.

Q. How do greyhounds get on with other dogs? A. They are normally ok. There will be an initial wariness, but familiarity and common sense is the order of the day.

Q. I have a cat, so can I have a greyhound? A. Just like any breed of dogs, some greyhounds get along great with small animals and cats. When enquiring about a greyhound, make sure you mention that your house has a cat, so you can be matched up with the ideal greyhound.

Q. Are greyhounds easy to train and do they come back when you call? A. Yes, but it needs patience and understanding. Like any dog, a greyhound loves to please and tasty rewards are highly appreciated after the racing regime.

Do you want to find out more? Visit www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk.

Find Your Perfect Pet The Retired Greyhound Trust has just made is easier to search their 72 branch network for your closest greyhound contact. Simply visit www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk/Branch-Locations/ to use the interactive mapping service. www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


GREYHOUNDS MAKE GREAT PETS

The Retired Greyhound Trust has many retired greyhounds in its care. They are gentle, intelligent animals who are looking for tender, loving care in a family home.

Please consider adopting a greyhound as your next pet or making a donation towards our work.

Your help will mean the world to them. Yes, I would like to know more about: Adopting a greyhound

Sponsoring a retired greyhound

Leaving a legacy

I enclose a donation of: ÂŁ Name:

Please return coupon to:

Address:

Retired Greyhound Trust 2nd Floor Park House, Park Terrace Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7JZ

Postcode: Tel: Email:

0+ W Berks 2012.indd 1

Tel: 020 8335 3016

www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk

Charity no: 269668

50+ W Berks

19/10/2012 09:09:49


CHANGING ROOMS

IN THE HOME IS SOMETHING MANY OF US LONG TO DO BUT ARE HAMPERED BY THOSE TWIN PROBLEMS: LACK OF MONEY AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.

BEFORE

Writes Angela Kelly We may know what we DON’T want around us, but probably have only a vague idea of what we do. The way we proceed next tends to relate either to the structure of the house – knocking through to give bigger rooms, adding a conservatory or building an extension – or the interior décor which includes everything from light fittings and wallpaper to furniture and paintings. For the first, often more sweeping, approach, architectural consultant Gary Willis from Novensus says always remember the importance of light. “Daylight directly affects our wellbeing and living in dark conditions can add to our lethargy,” he states. Deep rooms can appear dark as natural daylight can’t penetrate to the furthest reaches, so Gary suggests perhaps adding more windows. If privacy is an issue, consider use opaque window film, opaque glass or even glass blocks. “High level strip windows can also be used to provide natural light without sacrificing privacy,” he adds. A pitched roof with a flat internal ceiling could be opened up to a more interesting space, enhanced by exposed roof structure and effective roof lights. “Remove a wall to create an open plan dining/kitchen and a more adaptable space,” says Gary. “Even the removal of a load-bearing wall – one that has a structural purpose – is a relatively straightforward task to a competent builder.” For bigger projects, consider a garage or loft conversion. “Only around half of us really utilise our garage,” insists Gary. “Put this space to good use. Rather than just turning the garage into a room, how about thinking more laterally? Could you use part of the garage to extend an adjacent room to create a larger kitchen, whilst still reserving part of the garage for garden storage, a utility area or a study?”

22

BEFORE A conservatory can add both light and space to a home, “but a sun room or orangery is a much better option. It will be insulated to current standards that will provide a usable room in all seasons and ultimately add more value to your home. “Another alternative is a pre-built garden room which can be brought onto site in one piece, or built quickly in a modular format with limited disturbance.” Maximise garden views “and minimise rubbish ones!” advises Gary. “Create a cosy oasis of space with a smaller patio. Dress it up with flower boxes and a beautiful chair or swing to provide visual interest throughout all seasons.” Indoors, bring in the light with brighter, lighter colours on walls, floors and ceilings to maximise available light. Gloss and satin finishes will reflect more light than dull, dark colours and mirrors can be used imaginatively to bring much-needed light into a room or brighten a dark hallway also giving the illusion of space. When cash is short, home stylist and project manager Jill Brimley from Changing Spaces advises looking carefully at what you’ve already got and adapting where you can. “Dark walls can be painted a light, neutral shade like Dulux Natural Calico,” she says. Take a close look at doors as these can give a dated feel to a room, and invest in new, white ones to add to light. For the Living Room makeover (pictured), Jill also had new panelled cupboard doors made for the meter cupboard. The electrical socket was removed and re-sited to get rid of ugly trailing wires and storage added within the cupboard.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


JILL’S TIPS FOR UPDATING

ANY EXISTING KITCHEN ARE:

AFTER

AFTER A “gorgeous little chair” was bought from TK Maxx, the dark legs painted in white satin wood. The original curtains were dry cleaned and a new complimentary fabric panel was added to lengthen them to the floor. “Additional fabric was bought to cover existing cushion pads to co-ordinate the look,” says Jill. She recycled accessories from around the home - “We also decluttered, removed the old carpet and put in new oak wood-style laminate flooring and painted the dark mahogany fireplace, mirror and cupboard in white satin wood to provide a brighter and nicer co-ordinated room.” For this Kitchen makeover on a budget, Jill kept the original units, unifying them to a cream satin wood and then adding freestanding furniture with doors almost identical to the existing units and bought at a clearance shop to add to the fitted look.

declutter work surfaces, tops of cupboards and walls

Steam clean kitchen area

Update white electrical sockets with chrome

Replace worktops with new, more modern items and/or change cupboard doors

Inexpensive plain tiles can make the look fresher and more modern

Chrome tile trims give a more upmarket look

Emulsion the walls to compliment the décor

Invest in new floor covering

Change the colour of your kettle, toaster etc for instant impact

“For a contemporary look, change the door handle and light switch to chrome,” adds Jill. “Inset halogen lights in the front and inside of the wardrobe, and upgrade the radiator and radiator cabinet.” Use old pillows that have flattened as cushion pads or cut up old duvets, and plump up curtains with crumpled tissue paper. The Bathroom can improve if you knock through an old bathroom and separate toilet into one modern area. Add a heated towel radiator to save on space and for a more stylish look. It’s worth investing in a combi boiler which gets rid of the old water tank and is more efficient. Try bricking up the original toilet widow externally and reduced it in size internally to give a useful shelf/recess. Investment in a white modern suite is really worthwhile. Use floor and wall tiles in the same neutral colour but different sizes - bigger tiles with smaller grout lines also give the illusion of space. And if you struggle to see new potential in your home – call in the experts!

Modern inexpensive cream brick tiles were used around the necessary areas, the walls were painted lighter with Dulux’s Javan Dawn, and the original back door was replaced with small French windows to bring in extra light and a view of the garden. Jill also replaced the original work top with a solid oak butcher’s block.

Meet the

In the Bedroom, use relaxing light neutral colours. If space is limited, go for sliding wardrobe mirror doors to reflect light back into the room. Shop carefully for complementary bargain soft furnishings – go online, visit mill and clearance shops or use sale curtains to make Roman blinds or a bed throw.

GARY WILLIS Architectural Consultant Novensus

For more details visit www.changingspaces.org.uk www.50plusmagazine.co.uk and www.novensus.co.uk

EXPERTS JILL BRIMLEY Home Stylist Changing Spaces

23


Sponsored 9km dog walk Saturday 23rd February Windsor Great Park Registration 8.30am

sponsor me PLEASE!

www.thameshospicecare.org.uk

01753 848963 Charity reg: 1108298


Your gift will make a difference ... and help Thames Hospicecare look after future generations

Leaving a gift in your Will gives you the opportunity to support a cause that mattered to you during your lifetime and helps to provide and care for those you leave behind. Email: info@thameshospicecare.org.uk www.thameshospice.org: 08456 128812 Charity Reg: 1108298


PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS Retirement after many years of hard work brings with it the fruits of your labours. Many of you will own your own home bringing with it comfort and security as well as being an important part of your total wealth. In addition, you may well have savings and investments derived from pension plans, life assurance policies and regular savings plans. When added together your estate may well come to a significant sum of money. There are, however, risks to your estate which could crystallize during your lifetime, on death or, indeed, after death. These include potential liability to Inheritance Tax (IHT), care fees, the risk of disinheriting your children by the remarriage of your surviving spouse and the possibility of the loss of mental capacity.

INHERITANCE TAX IHT is levied at the rate of 40% on the excess over the Nil Rate Band (NRB) allowance, currently £325,000. There are, however, important reliefs. Transfers between husband and wife (and, indeed, between civil partners) are exempt and there is the Seven Year Rule whereby gifts made more that seven years prior to death are free from IHT. Also, the NRB allowance is transferable to the surviving spouse so that on the death of the survivor two NRBs are available shielding £650,000 from IHT. For the larger estates, combining the spousal exemption with the seven year rule and incorporating the appropriate trusts in your wills can result in significant savings of IHT.

REMARRIAGE Many married couples, make simple mirror wills leaving their share of the

26

estate to the survivor and then, on second death, everything passes to the children. The problem here arises if the survivor remarries. Because marriage invalidates a will, on remarriage the children have lost all the protection even the simple will gave them.

CARE FEES This is a subject of concern to many particularly the risk to the family home. While both husband and wife are alive, if one goes into care, the house is not included in the assessment for care fees although other assets are. If, however, one spouse has died, the family home is included in the care fees assessment and the costs of care can very rapidly eat into the survivor’s estate. Many of you are also aware that allowable assets will be used to fund care fees down to £23,250 when a sliding scale kicks in. Simple mirror wills provide no protection against the risk. Writing protective trusts into the wills ring fences half the property or estate because that part of the estate is owned by Trustees and not by the surviving spouse. It is also possible to put the property into a lifetime trust. These trusts can run for 125 years. The property can remain in the trust after both spouses have died and will be there for the benefit of the children. This has a number of advantages. If any of the children get divorced or are made bankrupt the family home is not included in the assets forming part of the divorce or bankruptcy settlements because it is held in trust. There is also a saving of professional probate fees as the property is outside the estate. The settlors - that is the original owners who put the house into trust - also have the right to live in the property and to sell it if they wish to move. The trust can also protect against care fees.

LOSING MENTAL CAPACITY If a loved one loses mental capacity it can take months for the Court of Protection to appoint Deputies to look after their affairs and even then, the powers of the Deputies may be restricted to handling the income of the person concerned with further applications to the Court being required if the Deputies wish to realise any of the assets. Not only can the process be time consuming with all the problems that delay will entail there are also Court Fees to be paid which could be onerous. The way to avoid this is to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This can be set up to come into force when the person giving the power (the donor) loses capacity. It will also need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once this is done it will be available to use immediately the donor loses capacity thereby removing the delays a referral to the Court of Protection would entail. The donor also chooses the Attorneys who will act on the donor’s behalf. This is very important. The LPA is a powerful document and it is vital that the donor selects attorneys he or she can trust to look after their affairs in the way they would wish.

CONCLUSION From the above it is clear that there are many risks to wealth and property that need to be guarded against. At Collective Legal Solutions our Associates are well trained to conduct the overall assessment of your estate and to present the different options that may be available. The consultation is totally fee and without obligation and is normally carried out in the comfort, security and privacy of your own home. For further free information call me, Andrew Davies, on my Freephone number 0808 146 9295

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


Retired Homeowners: your home could be sold to fund care home fees

“We have worked hard all our lives to leave something for our children and grandchildren. Why should the Local Authority get it all?” If you have to go into care and you have assets that total more than £23,250 (including the value of your home), you will have to fund your care in full. A care home could cost £500-£800 a week or more. The reality is that your children could end up with very little. Although care might seem only a distant possibility right now, there are important steps you should take now to protect your home.

Married Couples If you and your husband/wife currently have ‘Mirror Wills’ or ‘Joint Wills’ you risk leaving your share of your home to your husband/wife for it simply to be swallowed up in care home fees. A legal trust arrangement within your Will could save your family tens of thousands of pounds and ensure your hard earned wealth passes to those you choose.

Widowed/Single The options available to you to protect your home are fewer and it is vital you act now.

“I’m protected, I’ve signed my house over to my children” Have you considered what will happen if your child/children experience marital difficulties and your home forms part of a divorce settlement? What will happen if your child/ children experience financial difficulties and enter bankruptcy? Did you know that Capital Gains Tax is payable on second homes, meaning a potentially huge tax bill when your home is eventually sold by your children? It’s not too late to put it right – contact us today for advice.

Collective Legal Solutions are experts at helping you protect your hard earned wealth. Contact us today for your free information pack.

0808 146 9295 Quote ref 5001

collective LEGALSOLUTIONS

www.collectivelegalsolutions.co.uk/andrewdavies www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

FREE Home Visits • Specialist Legal Expertise Value For Money • All Work Fully Insured

27


The Trading Standards Service is part of RBWM’s Public Protection Unit, we are committed to achieving a fair and safe trading environment to benefit local residents, businesses and visitors to the area.

Staying Safe Online good anti-virus software that includes Firewall Protection, and a Spam Filter. The BBC Webwise site provides a useful no-nonsense helpful guide. www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/virusprotection.

Phishing

Do you use a computer on a regular basis? This information could help keep you and your information safer. Many of us use the internet every day and although it is generally safe, it can be all too easy to become a victim of scams or e-crime - just by an unwilling click on a link.

Phishing refers to any email or online scam that ‘hooks’ users and cons them into supplying personal data. Phishing scams usually take the form of an unexpected email or website that looks like it comes from an official body - for example, your bank - which requests that you input logins, passwords, credit card numbers, dates of birth and the like into an online form.

Viruses

The term ‘virus’ is often used as a catch-all to describe all kinds of security hazards but, in fact, it refers to a specific type of problem. A true computer virus is a program that works in the same way as a biological virus, infecting and replicating itself without the user’s knowledge. These programs, which can be attached to emails or come from files you load onto your computer e.g. via USB sticks or simply from accessing some websites. They can take many different forms e.g. attacking your computer and making it inoperable, causing irritation by copying themselves to the email contacts on your computer, or running in the background collecting vital data about yourself. What you can do The best advice is to take time to gain a wider appreciation to the threats that are out there - the more you understand the threats the better prepared you will be. This advice stands for all the threats covered in this article. To protect yourself from viruses you need some

This is a major problem and is not just about computers. The National Fraud Authority has estimated that every year in the UK identity fraud costs more that £2.7 billion and affects over 1.8 million people. Your dustbin is as much a source of information as your PC. Here villains will seek to collect all manner of personal information about you and then use it for a wide range of fraudulent purposes from acquiring a passport to taking out credit cards in your name. What you can do Be very cautious about supplying personal details including photographs to anyone, even your friends, and do not throw things such as bank statements in your dustbin without shredding them. Fortunately, the Home Office has set up an excellent site which advises on all aspects of Identity Fraud from which you can download advice leaflets. www.identitytheft.org.uk

Some IT Jargon Explained

Online crime includes identity theft, virus attacks and unsolicited emails enticing you to reveal personal and financial details. The Royal Borough has developed this information to highlight the simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of e-crime.

Identity theft

The information is then passed on to crooks who can use it to steal your identity or access your finances. Many phishing emails and websites look just like the real thing and it can be hard to tell a fake. If you use a spam filter, however, it should catch the majority of these messages before they reach your inbox. The latest internet browsers have built-in phishing filters. However, some phishing emails will always get through, so take care. Always delete unexpected emails asking for any personal, IT, or financial details. What you can do Check on the internet sites below which provide advice. But if in doubt, simply delete the email. Reputable organisations will never ask for banking details unless it is part of a financial transaction you have agreed to conduct. The commercial sites below will provide very useful advice and tips, but we must emphasis we do not endorse products advertised on the sites: www.cymru1.net/extra/security3.php www.technicalinfo.net/papers/ Phishing.html www.technicalinfo.net/papers/ Phishing2.html

Anti-virus (AV) software - these are programs which protect your computer from viruses. Typically, as well as being able to remove or isolate viruses that attack your computer from viruses. Typically, as well as being able to remove or isolate viruses that attack your computer, they also set up firewalls to prevent virus attack in the first place. AV software also normally has programs which spot Phishing emails.

Firewall - A firewall is a piece of software (or hardware) that sits between a user’s PC and a network, such as the internet, protecting the computer from unauthorised traffic and potentially malicious attacks. Put simply, a firewall acts as a block between your PC and the outside world. Phishing - an attempt at identity theft in which criminals lead users to a counterfeit website in the hope that they will disclose private information such as user names and passwords. Spam filter - normally a program that is sold as part of an AV package. It detects emails that come from potentially risky sources and either deletes or gives you the option of doing so.


Millions being lost to sophisticated new card fraud phone scam · New ‘card fraud phone scam’ records a three-fold increase in financial losses so far in 2012 · “Would you spot it?” – a worrying 80% of consumers feel anyone could fall victim · Simple advice to help combat this crime is available from payyourway.org.uk A sophisticated type of fraud – where people are telephoned by fraudsters and duped into revealing their PIN and handing over their bank card to a courier – is on the rise.

same amount - £750,000 - stolen in the first four months of 2012 that was stolen during the whole of 2011. This equates to a three-fold increase. The scam involves a person being called by someone claiming to be from their bank and told that their debit or credit card needs collecting as it needs replacing following fraud on their account. The caller often suggests the person hangs up and calls the bank back if they want to ensure the call is genuine, but stays on the line, tricking the person into thinking they’re calling their bank. The criminal will then ask the person to key in their PIN number, before sending a courier to collect the card. The victim is told the card is going to the bank to be changed but is actually delivered to the fraudster to use along with the PIN obtained during the scam. With 91 per cent feeling that older adults would be particularly at risk, the campaign is encouraging people to make sure that older relatives and friends are also aware of the scam in order to stamp out this kind of crime and help older generations to keep their finances secure.

Pay Your Way, the Payments Council’s education campaign, is working with The UK Cards Association and Financial Fraud Action UK, to raise awareness of how to avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime. More than £1.5 million has now been lost to this crime, with the

In response to the newly-released figures, tips to help people arm themselves against fraud can now be found at www. payyourway.org.uk, where a whole range of guidance on safer payments and banking is available.

DCI Paul Barnard, head of the bank sponsored Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU), the specialist police unit that tackles UK card and cheque fraud, said: “Many of us feel confident that we can spot fraudsters but this type of crime can be sophisticated and could happen to anyone. If you have friends or relatives who you feel may be vulnerable, please help them to be more aware of the potential risks and what to look out for. If you think you have become a victim of fraud on your account you should contact your bank in the first instance, although if there is a crime in progress you should call 999 straightaway.” Follow these simple tips to avoid becoming a victim: 1.    Never hand over your card: Your bank or the police will NEVER ring you and tell you that they are coming to your home to pick up your card, so never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it. 2.    Never share your PIN: Your bank will NEVER ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN into the telephone. NEVER share your PIN with anyone – the only times you should use your PIN are at a cash machine or when you use a shop’s chip and PIN machine. 3.    Always speak to the bank securely: Before calling your bank, make sure you can hear the dial tone and only ever call your bank on an advertised number.

Any Doubt? Keep them out! How to Beat the Rogue Step Caller • • • • • • •

Keep front and back doors locked Use a door viewer or window to see who your caller is Put your chain or bar on before you open the door Never agree to have work done by a stranger who turns up on your doorstep Don’t trust ID offered by the caller, it can easily be faked. Never let uninvited callers into your home Never agree to be taken to the bank to withdraw cash

Rogue doorstep callers appear trustworthy and genuine; if you let them in they’ll expect a sale and won’t give up easily.

If you require any further information or advice about doorstep callers contact trading standards.

( 01628 683802 www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/trading_standards.htm trading.standards@rbwm.gov.uk

If you see any suspicious characters going door to door phone the police non-emergency number 08458 505 505. For advice on any other consumer issues you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 08444 111 444 or by e-mail via their website www.adviceguide.org.uk


OUT & ABOUT

‘SCHOOL OF BURLESQUE’ CHRISTMAS SHOW ‘The School of Burlesque’ at 8pm on 21st December 2012 at the Windsor Firestation. The Chrismas holidays are nearly upon us at the School of Burlesque. Meet the gorgeous, straight-laced but tipsy headmistress Vivica Von Plenty, and watch as she becomes steadily ‘undone’ and progressively inappropriate whilst filled with Christmas cheer.

CATCH A TAXI TO THE TOWN CENTRE FOR ONLY £1 From now until 31 December you can hail a taxi that is heading towards High Wycombe town centre and they will drop you at the nearest taxi rank for only £1 per person. How it works

Working taxis will display an illuminated taxi sign to show they are available. Hail one by simply waving your arm to alert the driver. The offer is available seven days a week between 9am and 4pm and is running until 31 December 2012. Under seven’s travel free (when accompanied by an adult) This Christmas offer is part of a scheme by the Hackney drivers to raise awareness about the difference between their cabs - which people can hail from the roadside - and private-hire cars, which prominently need to be pre-booked. There are about 100 Hackney Cabs operating in the Wycombe district, split evenly between saloon cars with large white taxi signs on the roof and traditionallooking ‘London black cabs’. In a recent interview at the launch of the scheme, Hackney cab spokesman and driver Mr Ghulam Rasool said: “We are just like the black cabs in London, if you’re walking down the road and see us, just wave us down and we can pick you up. “We felt with Christmas coming up, and people needing to go into town for shopping, this was the perfect time to do this and give something back to the community.” If the scheme proves popular the ‘Town for a Pound’ offer may become a permanent fixture. 30

Discover the newest members of the Glitter Box Fairy class - ready to put their practice into reality for their first performance just for you. Plus, join in on a few classic school classes including French (maid), Spanish (songtress) and a bit of Gymnastics and Biology - if you are very lucky! This event takes place at The Firestation Centre for Arts Centre for Arts & Culture The Old Court, St Leonards Road,Windsor, SL4 3BL on Friday, December 21, 2012 The event starts at 08am and finishes at 10.30am and costs £10. For more information please call 01753 866 865 Email: glitterboxburlesque@gmail.com Website: www.glitterboxburlesque.com

CRAFT FAIR

Saturday 15 December

Craft Fair - where everything is designed and made by the Crafter. Light refreshments available It is free admission and takes place between 10.30am and 4.30pm at Flackwell Heath Community Centre, Straight Bit, Flackwell Heath, Bucks HP10 9LS For more information please visit www.ajhomecrafts.net (Real Craft Fairs for 2012) or email organisers@information@ajreacraftfairs.net

CHRISTMAS MUSIC Tuesday 18 December

Informal Christmas Service with the Salvation Army. Coffee and mince pies. All welcome. Time: 11.00am - 12 noon with soup at 12.15pm at The Salvation Army Hall, Frogmoor, High Wycombe For more information please call 01494 471 847 or 01494 711 543 www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


a table centre piece for Christmas. Each participant will have the opportunity to create their own arrangement and take it home at the end of the session. Limited spaces so booking is essential. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

CAROLS BY THE LAKE AND OTHER SEASONAL SONGS Saturday 15 December, 1-2pm

Join members of St Marys, St Peters and St Laurence churches and take part in singing carols and other seasonal songs by the lake in Herschel Park. Mince pies and hot punch will be served (nonalcoholic).

CHRISTMAS AT HERSCHEL PARK Sunday 23 December, 3-4pm

HERSCHEL PARK EVENTS Take a look at a small selection of what’s happening in Hershcel Park, Slough this Christmas.

CHRISTMAS FLORAL DECORATIONS Saturday 15 December

Three sessions during the day... Join flower arranger Veronica Turner for a 11⁄2 hour workshop to include a demonstration on how to make

We welcome back local singer Shola Hepburn, harpist Satu Salo and pianist Lenford Quashie as they present songs, music and poetry to get us into the festive spirit. With mince pies supplied this will be the perfect break from the last minute shopping. Meet at the Bentley Education Centre. Limited seating so arrive early to secure your place. For further details of the events or to book places, contact Tony Down, Herschel Park Management Officer, on 01753 875209 or 07771 973035 or email tony.down@slough.gov.uk.

THE LOCAL MAGAZINE FOR THE OVER 50s Subscription Form To receive the next two issues of 50 Plus Magazine hot off the press, either for yourself or to treat a friend, please fill in the form below and post with a cheque for £3.40 made payable to McGrath Regional Media: Unit 6, Moses Gate Workshops, Gladys Street, Bolton BL3 2QG.

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

Name:....................................................................................... Address:................................................................................... .................................................................................................. Postcode:.................................................................................. Title: 50 Plus Magazine in........................................................ .................................................................................................. Issue Numbers:........................................................................ Tel:.............................................................................................

31


Take a slice out of your Rent and Council Tax Up to 4 out of 10 people entitled to Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit miss out.

Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit is help towards paying your Rent/Council Tax Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are national welfare benefits These benefits help those people on low incomes to meet the cost of their rent and/ or Council Tax If you pay rent and /or Council Tax for your home, then you can apply for help if you are: l l l l

On a low income, earnings or pension A student with children or a partner Disabled On Benefits

For pensioners with savings (who are not in receipt of pension credit guarantee) the first £10,000 is ignored. There is a maximum of £16,000 above which there is no entitlement to Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit. Those in receipt of guarantee credit are automatically entitled to maximum benefit.

Don’t miss out. What should you do next? Apply now. You can get a claim form by contacting us on 01494 421 325 or visit our website at www.wycombe.gov.uk where you can use the on line calculator to see if you qualify or email us at: benefits@wycombe.gov.uk

32

If you are in any doubt - apply! It won’t cost you anything and it could save you money


50 Plus Health

sponsored by

CATARACT Know the warning signs

Cataract is one of the most common causes of sight loss in the UK, but it needn’t be. Leading sight loss charity RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) warns that 50 per cent of sight loss could be avoided and that people should be more aware of what to look out for. A cataract is a clouding of the part of the eye called the lens. It causes vision to become blurred because the cataract is like frosted glass, interfering with a person’s sight. The lens is a clear tissue found behind the iris, the coloured part of the eye. The lens helps to focus light on the back of the eye – the retina – forming an image.

What to look out for: If you experience any of the following symptoms make an appointment for an eye examination:Blurry Sight: This is very common. You may notice that your sight has become blurred or misty, or that your glasses seem dirty or appear scratched. Dazzled By Light: You may be dazzled by lights, such as a car headlamps, and sunlight. Change of Colour Vision: Your colours may become washed out or faded. If your doctor or optician has told you that you have a cataract, don’t be alarmed. Cataracts are very common with one in three people over 65 being diagnosed in the UK. Many people over 60 have some cataract and the vast majority can be treated successfully. Cataract surgery, where the cloudy lens is removed during

an operation, is one of the most successful eye operations. If you or someone you know has a sight problem, RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk. Optimax is one of the UK’s leading Laser Eye Surgery specialists. Founded in 1991, it has carried out more than 350, 000 treatments. We offer a range of treatments suitable for those over 40, which can restore natural vision and give you freedom from glasses. These include Intra - Ocular Lens procedures. These Intra-Ocular Lenses replace the natural lens, which may eliminate the need for glasses and restore natural vision at the same time. What all Optimax treatments have in common is helping people to see the world more clearly. Choose Optimax for unbeatable results, affordable prices and outstanding patient care.

If your vision has declined or become blurry in recent years, don’t assume that a stronger prescription is all you need for a quick fix.

We don’t need glasses at all now and our only regret is that we should have had this treatment years ago.

Enjoy life without glasses, contacts or cataracts

Stephanie & Bill Yemc, IOL Treatment

Book your FREE consultation now, call 08705 14 33 14 or visit optimax.co.uk/iol 50+_quarterad_0712.indd 1

trea

ted

2012 31/07/2012 10:41:35


Is HRT safe? There has been a lot of media attention about the safety of HRT in the recent years. This has resulted in a great deal of worry amongst women considering HRT, or already taking it. HRT does have risks but most experts agree that: If you are suffering from menopausal symptoms and are in your 50s, taking HRT is a reasonable thing to do, especially if you take it for up to five years. The risks are small and serious side effects are rare. HRT is very effective in relieving your menopausal symptoms and also offers other health benefits such as reducing the risk of osteoporosis.* You can ask your GP or your Gynaecologist to help you understand the risks and benefits and to discuss whether HRT is right for you.

What is menopause? When ovaries stop producing eggs, they also stop producing hormones. The average age of menopause is around 51. Women go through menopause a few years earlier or few years later than this.

What are the symptoms of menopause? • • • • • • • • • •

Hot flushes Night sweats Mood disturbance Vaginal dryness Loss of sex drive (libido) Constant tiredness Headaches Sleep disturbance Anxiety Depression

What is HRT? Hormone Replacement Therapy is replacing the female hormones that your body lacks. It usually consists of the combination of two hormones, estrogen and progesterone. If you have had a hysterectomy, you will only need one hormone (estrogen). HRT is available in many forms, including tablets, skin patches and gels. Your doctor will help you choose the most suitable form.

Do I need HRT? Many women will have an “easy” menopause with mild symptoms and won’t need HRT. If menopause symptoms are affecting the quality of your life and you are suffering because of them, please talk to your doctor. There are many treatments available. HRT is only one of them but probably the most effective one.

What are the benefits of HRT? HRT can make a big difference to the quality of life: • It usually treats all menopausal symptoms very effectively • It reduces the risk of bone fracture (especially hip fracture) and osteoporosis • It also reduces the risk of bowel cancer.*

What are the risks of HRT? One of the most well-known risks is an increased risk of breast cancer: • Of 1000 women in their 50s, not taking HRT, approximately ten will develop breast cancer over the period of five years. •

Of 1000 women in their 50s taking oestrogen only HRT, approximately twelve will develop breast cancer over the period of five years.

Of 1000 women in their 50s taking oestrogen and progesterone HRT, approximately sixteen will develop breast cancer over the period of five years.*

This is a small risk and once you stop taking HRT the risks return to the level they were before taking HRT. Other risks include developing clots in the lungs and legs, stroke and cancer of the ovaries. As with the risk of breast cancer, these risks are small and your GP will discuss all risks with you.

For more information, visit www.gynaecology.me or www.patient.co.uk and search for menopause or go to the website of British menopause society, www.thebms.org.uk *Stats and data sourced from www.patient.co.uk/health/ Menopause-and-HRT.htm

34

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


How to choose the right Home Care Whether you’re choosing a home care company for a family member or starting to plan for your own future, there are several important things that you should consider. Here are a few useful pointers to help you along the way. Top 10 key questions to ask when choosing a Home Care company

Your right to quality home care Your chosen home care provider is there to look after you. They should help you to make your own decisions and support you in maintaining your own independence. That also means treating you with respect, valuing you as a person and respecting your privacy. If you need assistance with tasks such as dressing, bathing and toileting, you have the right to choose your carer, whenever possible. Remember, it’s your care and you have the right to be involved in every aspect of your care. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for a family member or friend to be kept informed about your home care too.

Home care company standards

Can the company provide the care needed, and have they provided care before for someone with similar needs?

How will the company and staff respect your privacy and dignity?

Have they taken the time to understand your personal likes and dislikes?

How do they match the most suitable care worker to your needs? Will they arrive at the time you have requested. Will you always have the same person caring for you. What happens if they are sick or go on holiday?

What charges will you be expected to pay (Is there a minimum charge)? And how you will be invoiced?

Is the company insured to protect your safety and interests?

Do all care workers undergo a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check before being employed? And what ongoing training do they receive?

Does the company have a copy of its latest inspection report available for you to look at?

Can the company be contacted outside office hours or in an emergency?

Will the company give you a copy of their standard contract to read before signing?

All companies have a ‘Statement of Purpose’ that sets out their aims and objectives and the type of the services they offer. If you’re employing a company, they should give you a contract explaining all terms and conditions. This will include things such as their confidentiality policy – for example, how they will hold and use personal data. All home care company employees should also have clear written guidelines and follow robust procedures on how to administer and assist with any medication needs.

So you’re thinking about using a company to provide home care? But how can you make sure that the home care provider you choose treats and cares for you in the right way?

Before your home care starts

Initial home visit by a home care company

It’s important to always make sure that the home care company you choose visits you at home, before care starts. This will give you the chance to discuss your requirements in detail to ensure that you’re happy with your choice of provider. A good home care company will answer any questions you may have during this visit. The visit will also give the company the opportunity to see the environment in which they will be working. If possible, arrange for a family member or friend to be there when the home care company visits.

During the initial home visit by the home care company, they will carry out a detailed risk assessment of your home, as well as a manual handling assessment. This is important, as it will identify how the company staff will move you safely around your home, if assistance is required. All staff should be fully trained on using equipment such as a hoist, to help bear your weight safely, if needed.

Keeping you safe and secure in your own home

It’s the job of the home care company staff to make sure that you are safe and secure in your own home when they are working with you. Every home care company must have procedures in place to protect those using home care

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk


services, to reduce the risk of accidents, and protect people from any form of abuse including physical, emotional and financial abuse. This will also include an agreement about gaining access to your home. Care workers should have ID cards to show their photograph, their name, the company’s name and contact details. Home care companies must also have a policy in place that sets out how staff should handle money, if you ask them to buy things, or to pay a bill for you.

visits. It may seem easier to sign only once a week but if you do this you may be charged the incorrect amount and it will prove difficult to prove otherwise.

Paying for home care

There is no cost to you when they use this system and it records the exact length of time that your care provider has been with you. This system also helps the home care company to highlight any missed calls by the care worker, reducing the risk of you not getting a call.

It’s important to know the cost of home care and you should always be provided with a clear idea of costs for home care services. In most cases, companies will charge different rates for home care on weekday, evenings and weekends. There is also often a higher rate on Bank Holidays. Remember to ask if there will be any additional costs that you need to know about. If you have been assessed by Social Services as being eligible for care and support at home, and Social Services have agreed to, fully or part fund your care (dependant on your financial assessment), you can choose to have the Care Company Social Services appoint, or you can choose to have Social Services provide the money to buy, some or all of, the support you need using something called a “Direct Payment”. The Direct Payment option allows you greater flexibility and freedom in how your care is provided. You can choose to employ your own ‘personal assistant’ or decide to work with the care provider of your choice. Your local Social Services team will be able to advise you further.

Check what you are being charged

All costs should be written into the contract between you and the company and you should be invoiced at regular intervals for the previous months’ service. In most cases, the home care company will keep timesheets that you will need to sign. Always check that they have logged the correct length of

Automated care worker monitoring

Some home care companies have electronic monitoring so care workers can ‘check in’ using their mobile phone or put a pin number into your landline phone.

How can Bluebird Care Help?

Bluebird Care is a national provider of care in the home. We specialise in working with customers and their families that require care in their own homes. We offer a unique service of tailored care visits from 15 minutes to full live-in support. The ethos of Bluebird Care is Good Old-Fashioned Service with a “can do” attitude, which has been built around a passion to deliver high quality care and an excellent level of service. Our aim is to allow our customers to maintain their independence and dignity by putting together a bespoke care package which allows them to remain in their own homes safely and holistically. For those customers not wishing to approach Social Services regarding their own care of that of a loved one, our Care Manger will visit the person in their own home (or hospital) to better understand the person’s requirements, answer any questions (including the 10 mentioned), discuss funding options and put in place a care plan to ensure the person remains safe and as independent as possible in their own home.

CARE VISITS AT HOME Good Old Fashioned Service

Bluebird Care (South Bucks & Slough) 31 Summers Road, Burnham SL1 7EP. Telephone: 01628 605 797 www.bluebirdcare.co.uk

What we offer We offer everything from personal care to shopping, cleaning or social visits. In fact everything you need to stay in the comfort of your own home.

Alternative Bluebird Care offers a realistic cost effective alternative to residential care. With familiar friends, relatives and possessions around, Bluebird Care ‘just happens’.

Our staff Our staff are caring, trained to give medication and police checked.


forest care side 1.pdf 1 08/10/2012 08:46

We also work with Social Services and the customer should the customer wish to go down the route of Direct Payments and choose to use Bluebird Care to provide all or part of their care.

Forestcare C

M

Anne Inglis, Director of Bluebird Care (South Bucks & Slough) says “choosing care is one of the most important decisions we may have to make as we become older. It is so important that when making this decision, people are aware of the all the options open to them. We are more than happy to answer questions on the phone or face-to-face and if the person asking the questions has a much greater understanding of what is available and how to access what they require, we’re happy to have helped, in some small way. If the person should go on to use our service, we would be delighted to be chosen as their care provider and look forward to working with person to provide a “world class” experience of care at home”

Lifeline Alarms & Sensors Keeping you safe at home

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Staying in your own Home Equipment and Adaptations to the Home There is a wide range of equipment designed to help you manage your life, and get changes made in your home. Maybe you need a door widened to take a wheelchair, grab rails to help you manage the stairs, or a ramp to your door to take a wheelchair. You can request that the local authority arranges an assessment by an occupational therapist, to decide how best your needs can be met. You may have to pay towards the cost of adaptations, although smaller items may be available free of charge, or you may be able to borrow some items from organisations such as Age Concern, The British Red Cross, or WRVS. The charity Disabled Living Foundation provides information on a range of equipment available to help.

Accredited by the Telecare Services Association

Forestcare – Making a Difference

Forestcare is Bracknell Forest Council’s Emergency Response Telecare Service, covering Bracknell and the surrounding areas including Windsor and Maidenhead. We provide help & support to all members of the community, both young and old, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Forestcare - Making a Difference

The feeling of security which a personal alarm system can give to an older person living alone cannot be underestimated.

Forestcare

Forestcare is an Emergency Response Telecare Centre and is part of Bracknell-Forest Council. As well as Bracknell we cover surrounding areas including, Windsor and Maidenhead.

Lifeline Alarms & Sensors Keeping you safe at home

We demonstrate, install and monitor lifeline alarms in people’s homes. This service allows individuals to remain in their own homes and therefore retain their independence, but provides peace of mind that help is at hand 24 hours a day should they need it.

Forestcare is BFC’s Emergency Response Telecare Service, Forestcare has a range of customers, both young and old, who have lifeline alarms installed for a variety of reasons. andto elderly the From young covering families coping Bracknell with severe allergies people suffering from regular falls, a Forestcare lifeline alarm surrounding areas. can make a real difference in an emergency situation.

A Forestcare lifeline alarm provides you with safety and security when you are at home. It enables you to live an independent life, safe in the knowledge that help is at hand, 24 hours a day. Whether it’s an emergency or just reassurance that you require, simply press the red button on your pendant and we will respond to your call in a friendly and timely manner.

Getting a lifeline alarm installed is as easy as 1,2,3! 1. Contact us to arrange a convenient appointment time. 2. We will visit you to demonstrate and install the equipment free of charge (no obligation). 3. Your lifeline alarm is then active and ready to use.

We provide help & support to all If you would like to make an appointment or simply members of the community, bothrequire more information, please do not hesitate to young and old, 24 hours a day, contact us today. Accredited by the 365 days a year. Telecare Services Association

Mike Porter, part of the Forestcare team explains “Much of the feedback we receive from our customers and their families is that the lifeline alarm service provides them with peace of mind that help is just the push of a button away” Mike goes on to say “We have recently introduced a new Care Call service where we phone customers on a daily basis to have a brief chat in order to ensure everything is ok. This service is proving to be popular, especially amongst some of our more vulnerable customers”.

Tel: 01344 786500 Forestcare – Making a Difference E-mail: forestcare.enquiries@bracknell-forest.gov.uk

www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

Web: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/ forestcareandemergencyresponse

37


Help is at hand!! Don’t suffer pain unnecessarily Do you have back pain, neck pain, groin pain, headaches, knee pain, chest pain...the list of potential pain problems is endless. The key thing with any pain problem is to make a diagnosis and then treat the cause and symptoms. Most pains are short lived and settle within a couple of months. That’s “acute” pain. If it carries on beyond 3 months it becomes “chronic”. Most of the time your General Practitioner will make a diagnosis and treat you effectively. Occasionally the pain does not settle and simple treatments have not helped. That’s where a Pain Clinic comes in. There are lots of causes for pain, ranging from arthritis to nerve irritability. Your GP may refer you to a Pain Clinic for diagnosis, treatment and advice. You will meet the Pain Consultant who will examine you, organise investigations if necessary and come up with a treatment plan once a diagnosis has been made. We like to look at the patient as a “whole”, looking at how your pain has impacted on your everyday activities. You may be referred for physiotherapy, have your medications adjusted, and be booked in for injection treatments simultaneously. You may just be given advice. It all depends on your diagnosis. Most patients can be helped by a Pain consultation. Treatments may include pain killers of a conventional type, medications to “calm down” nerve irritability, TENS machines, acupuncture, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, relaxation techniques. Interventional treatments may also be offered such as joint injections, nerve “blocking” injections, epidural injections etc. The Pain Management Consultant currently working at Berkshire Independent Hospital is Dr Paddy Clarke. He has been a Consultant for over a decade in the NHS. Prior to that he worked as Assistant Professor of Pain Management at Stanford University, California. He has enormous experience of most pain conditions and how best to treat them. If you would like to see Dr Clarke then simply ask your GP, osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist to write a letter of referral to the BIH and an appointment will be sent to you.

For further information please contact The Berkshire Independent Hospital on

0118 902 8114 www.berkshireindependenthospital.co.uk

ore from your


Elderly care you can put your trust in

The new Elderly Care Clinic at the Berkshire Independent Hospital is part of a multi-million pound investment programme to provide the best in clinical care. The clinic offers appointments to assess general health and wellbeing, as well as caring for those with acute conditions.

For more information call:

0118 902 8114 www.theberkshireindependenthospital.co.uk

Swallows Croft, Wensley Road, Coley Park, Reading, RG1 6UZ

Elderly Care Clinic • • • •

Appointments to suit you High patient satisfaction results Fast assessment Free parking


Dive into a fairer gym contract.

Does your gym let you leave if you’re not fitter & healthier in 3 months? We do. Get a FREE 2-day pass | Text HEALTH and your POSTCODE to 88122 | nuffieldhealth.com/health Nuffield Health Stoke Poges Wexham Street, SL3 6NB. Call 01753 663666

40 Please visit nuffieldhealth.com/terms for full details. Terms and conditions may apply. © Nuffield Health 2012.www.50plusmagazine.co.uk

High Wycombe, Chiltern & East Berkshire 32  

The local magazine for the over 50s