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Life Times January/February 2014

Ageing Well Edition

Strong History â—? Bright Future

We always love to receive your letters, poems, photographs, stories and memories here at Life Times, so please get in touch! Write to: Karen Steele, Age Connects, 4 Cleeve House, Lambourne Crescent, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5GP or email:

Contents 8 : A fair representation? 4 : Charity name/Prostate Cancer support 9 : Plan for the Future 10 : Knitting Campaign Update 5 : Five steps to mental well-being 11 : Pedal Power/Competition 7 : Advice for diabetics 3 : We need your support!

Dear readers, Here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year! Whatever your plans and aspirations for 2014 may include, we have included many ideas and opportunities that you might not have considered. Why not devote some of your spare time and energy to helping others through volunteering, speak up for those less fortunate who may be discriminated against (see enclosed questionnaire) or make a difference by taking part in local fundraising activities to help improve the lives and services of those in need. On page 10 we take the opportunity to pass on our thanks and an update to all of you who have been so kind to support our 2013 knitting campaign. Much needed funds were raised towards our services and we hope you enjoyed getting involved as much as we did! As always, we welcome your contributions, suggestions and support here at Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale so please feel free to get in touch. Thank you,

Karen Steele, Editor

Join us and show your support Facebook Twitter Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale 4 Cleeve House, Lambourne Crescent, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 5GP To be added to or removed from the Life Times mailing list: Tel: 02920 578 372 or Email: For the Editor Tel: 02920 683 604 Charity Registration No. 1137821

Company Registration No. 7345521

All photographs copyright ©

Editor’s note The Editor reserves the right to alter articles submitted for publication. The opinions contained in Life Times are not necessarily those of Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale. Advertisements and inserts are accepted in good faith, but products or services referred to are not thereby endorsed or recommended by Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale.


We need your help! You and your friends and family can do so much more than you think! Do you, your children, grandchildren, friends or neighbours work for an organisation that might be willing to support our charity and the work we do in their local community? Or can you get together and spread the word about our work and organise some vital fundraising on our behalf? In a perfect world charities shouldn't have to ask for money. We all recognise and appreciate their good work, but in the current economic climate local charities are suffering more than most and Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale is reaching out to local businesses and residents to come forward now and show their much needed support. Many older people living in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan do not have the security of friends and family to help as they get older and are all alone facing the uncertainty that this can often bring. This is where local charity, Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale can offer a lifeline. All it takes is desire to help and make a difference. Whether you have a little or a lot of time to give, you can make an even bigger difference to the lives of older people. Could you spare a few hours a month to set up your own fundraising group in your local area? If so, we would love to hear from you. Fundraising groups can raise vital money in their local community and spread the word about who we are and what we do. It’s a great excuse to get together with your friends, family or colleagues and raise money to support older people. We will work with you to help you establish your group and provide you with ideas for fundraising; from collections, sponsored walks and bike rides to jumble sales, quiz nights and much, much more! No experience is necessary to set up a local Age Connects fundraising group. All we ask is that you are enthusiastic and passionate about our work to support older people and can volunteer some of your time. Your efforts can result in big improvements to people’s lives. If you know of a local organisation that believes in the concept of supporting the community at grassroots level and wants to increase it’s profile, increase staff morale and engage in volunteering activities or if you have some great ideas for fundraising and events or would like to help out and support Age Connects, then please call 029 2068 3604 or email and see how you can make a difference. Every penny you raise will go towards helping the many thousands of older people who desperately need our help in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.


Reminder about our charity name change Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, celebrates forty years of delivering services across the two counties and towards the end of last year we changed our name. Our new name is Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale and the new logo is above on the right hand side. We continue to deliver the same services locally so please feel reassured that the change of name will not affect the services you receive. We realise that you may have some questions, so we please get in touch if this is the case. The important message that we need to get across to people is that we are a well established local charity with over 40 years experience of providing services for older people and any money raised for Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale will remain in the local community. We believe we have a strong history and a bright future. We hope that you are pleased with the service that we provide and that you will remain a loyal supporter and tell your friends and family about our work.

If you have any questions about our name change please ring: 029 2068 3600

“Did you know 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer?” Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men but too many men are unaware of the disease. At Prostate Cancer UK, we believe men deserve better. We are the leading UK charity for men with prostate cancer and prostate problems. We fight to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. We have three priorities: 1. Supporting men and providing information. 2. Finding answers by funding research. 3. Leading change to raise awareness and improve care. We already know that I in 8 men will get prostate cancer and the statistic for black men is even more alarming at 1 in 4. But, do you know enough about prostate cancer – Who can it affect? What are the possible signs and symptoms? If not, you may like to speak to one of our London based Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383*, visit our website or talk to somebody at our new Wales office. Meet the Wales Team: (pictured left to right: Samuel Clements, Samantha Fairclough and Rhodri Thomas) Samantha Fairclough – Community Support Services Manager for Wales. Works with NHS partners, third sector organisations and service providers to ensure men get access to support. Samuel Clements – Community Nurse Specialist. Helps develop and deliver clinical advice and support for men and their families. If you have any questions, you can speak to Samuel to find out about the support available in your area. Rhodri Thomas – responsible for developing a Wales wide volunteering programme to spread the word about prostate cancer and the charity. Ed Bridges – Oversees our relationships with policy-makers in Wales and Northern Ireland, arguing for better NHS services for men with prostate cancer. You can speak to any member of the team on 029 2035 1606 *The helpline is open Mon-Fri (9am-5pm), plus Wed (7pm-9pm). Calls are recorded for training purposes only. Confidentiality is maintained between callers and Prostate Cancer UK.


Five steps to mental wellbeing Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. If you approach them with an open mind and try them, you can judge the results yourself. 1. Connect. Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. 2. Be active. You don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, swim or go cycling. Find the activity that you enjoy, and make it a part of your life. 3. Keep learning. Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to get to grips with new technologies! 4. Give to others. Even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. 5. Take notice. Be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”, and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. As point number 4 suggests…why not ‘Give to others’ by offering some of your time as a volunteer? Volunteers are the cornerstone of Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan they play a vital role in everything we do and we value their contribution and commitment. Without them, our charity could not make the tremendous difference it does to the lives of older people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Volunteering can also help protect your mental and physical health. Read on and you’ll see that the benefits of volunteering reflect those listed above for mental well-being: • The positive impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. • Volunteering increases self-confidence. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. • Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals. • Reducing the risk of depression is another important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop new groups of friends, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. 5

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Volunteering is good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.

When it comes to volunteering, passion and a positive attitude are the only requirements While learning new skills can be beneficial to many, it’s not a requirement for a fulfilling volunteer experience. Bear in mind that the most valuable skills you can bring to any volunteer effort are compassion, an open mind, a willingness to do whatever is needed, and a positive attitude. People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Below are some thoughts from our Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale existing volunteers. “When I started as a volunteer I never realised how much I would gain from helping someone. I have now gained a friend and believe I got as much from seeing her as she does from me.”

“To see the looks on the clients face after you leave as if to say thank you for coming to see me.”

“It helped me to achieve confidence after a debilitating illness. I have used Age Connects for my parents whilst at work so felt I was putting something back into the organisation.”

“Since retiring I was at a loss and as I am disabled. Age Connects has helped me a lot, given me a new interest and I can help others in the process.”

“It has given me more confidence, it’s on my CV at interviews, people comment on it.”

“Having nursed my husband at home until his sad death from leukaemia in March 2010, I feel volunteering with Age Connects gives me a sense of feeling needed. I get great satisfaction from helping others and hopefully making someone’s life a little easier by giving them a life in my car whenever I am needed.”

“Sometimes the clients lose confidence and it’s so nice to see them going out somewhere and they value your help.” If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer for Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale please contact: 029 2056 0952. 6

Wiltshire Farms Foods shares new advice for diabetics Diabetes UK and the NHS in Wales have issued new dietary guidance for diabetics. Gone is the focus on managing your sugar intake and in its place guidance that focuses on the need for a balanced diet, one that limits carbohydrate consumption. That doesn’t mean that you can consume as much sugar as you like as that will still affect your condition and it also means that you will no longer see meals labelled as diabetic. Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel in our bodies and as such essential to our wellbeing, the functioning of our brains and the health of our gut. However, when consumed carbohydrates are converted by the body into glucose (sugar). Consuming too many carbohydrates (at a single sitting or over the day) or the wrong type of carbohydrate will lead to an increase in your blood sugar. Conversely consuming too little carbohydrates will result in a drop in your blood sugar and will result in a fall in your energy levels as it will increase the chances of you having a hypo. It is this fluctuation in blood sugar that makes the injecting of insulin necessary, the insulin being used to balance blood sugar levels. It is clear that eating the right food can prevent this from happening or help to alleviate the incidence of low or high blood sugar. In particular for those with Type 1 diabetes, managing your carbohydrate consumption is an effective way of managing the condition. Getting your diet right will steady your blood sugar level and in the process limit the amount of insulin that you will need, which will in turn lead to greater flexibility and freedom of lifestyle. Please bear in mind that the actual amount of carbohydrate that the body needs varies depending on your age, weight and activity levels, but it should make up about half of what you eat and drink. It is important you speak to your health professional to help you understand what level of carbohydrates you should consume. As a general rule for good health, most of your intake should be from starchy carbohydrates, fruits and some dairy foods, with a small amount of your total carbohydrate to come from sucrose (sugar). More specifically, you should stay away from carbohydrate rich foods as you should fast acting carbohydrates, foods such as glucose drinks and tablets, soft drinks, sweets and jellies. Medium and slow acting carbohydrates should make up 2/3 of your diet, foods such as breads and breaded products, flour products including pasta and biscuits, potatoes and rice, milk, yoghurt, ice cream and most fruits including honey. Consumption of these foods may still require your sugar levels to be managed using insulin; however consumption of the right amount will go a long way in reducing the need for insulin. Finally at least 1/3 of your diet should consist of carbohydrate free foods such as meat (check burgers and sausages as these may contain carbohydrates), fish and seafood, eggs and cheese, vegetables and salads, water, sugar free and diet drinks, milk free coffee and tea.


Importantly you should be eating what the NHS refers to as a balanced plate (pictured), which is consuming in equal portions over the day and in particular at mealtimes 1/3 fruit and vegetables, 1/3 bread, pasta, rice and potatoes and 1/3 protein (meat, fish, eggs and cheese). Finally it is important that you do not miss any mealtimes as this will result in a drop in your sugar levels. Make sure that you have porridge, cereal (not high in carbohydrates) eggs or bread at breakfast. During the day you should take small amounts of slow release carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up and have at least one balanced main meal that includes protein (meat and fish), starches (potatoes and rice) and vegetables Acknowledgements – Diabetes UK and the NHS

A fair representation? Everyone’s Future is a partnership project that aims to tackle negative stereotypes and unfair representation of older and younger people. A stereotype is an oversimplified image of a particular group of people. Stereotypes ignore the individual and imply that all persons within that group share the same characteristics. Stereotypes lead to inaccurate assumptions, affecting how we see ourselves and feel about others. Negative stereotypes can lead to age discrimination which is both a cause and a consequence of inequality and injustice.

We want your opinion! Everyone’s Future is currently conducting a piece of research to find out how the general public feel older and younger people are represented in the media. We have developed a questionnaire to find out what you think. Are older and younger people fairly portrayed? Information gathered will be presented to media professionals so your views are very important to us. The short survey included should take no longer than five minutes to complete and once you’ve had your say you can drop it off at your local Age Connects office, Healthy Wealthy and Wise or the Senior Health Shop in Barry. Alternatively you can post it to the following address: Everyone’s Future Project, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale, Unit 4, Cleeve House, Lambourne Crescent, Llanishen, CF14 5GP The survey can also be completed online at If you require any more information please do not hesitate to contact Alice Matthews, Age Equality Worker on 029 2068 3694 or at alice.matthews@age-concern This is an opportunity to have your voice heard. Come on, let’s think differently about age! 8

Helping Age Connects Clients Plan for the Future It’s often something that we would rather not think about or discuss with our loved ones, but planning for the future by ensuring you have an up to date Will in place and considering a pre-paid funeral plan can offer much needed peace of mind for you and your family. Funeral costs are soaring but paying in advance can ease the pain for families and allow you to beat inflation by paying at today’s prices which can offer substantial savings in the future. Costs for funeral plans vary depending on the level of package chosen and many providers now allow you to tailor a funeral in advance, incorporating personal touches or alternative ideas. There are also various options as far as payment for a plan is concerned, for example paying in one lump sum or setting up monthly installments. Assurances can also be given with regards to ensuring all money invested is protected until the time comes for it to be needed. What’s more, Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale offer free home visits from one of our staff members so you can have all details explained in the privacy and comfort of your own home. People and charities you would like to benefit from your assets after death may not be able to without a Will in place. So it makes complete sense to avoid any further grief and potential conflict by making a Will and stating who will benefit. The Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale Will Writing Scheme offers a reduced rate with numerous reputable local solicitors who will be able to draft your Will in a professional manner and offer advice on any other legal matters. As well as offering a assistance with Pre-paid Funeral Plans and Will Writing, Age Connects can also provide information regarding Equity Release products, mobility aids, such as stairlifts and personal alarms. Please contact 029 2068 3604 to find out more and arrange your free home visit today.

Keeping your support local Legacy donations make a huge difference to the work that charities are able to carry out in the UK and yet just a tiny fraction of people include a legacy gift to charity in their will. However, for smaller local independent charities, like Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale the potential these inspiring gifts offer is often fundamental to the services and support they can provide. Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale understand that caring for your family is your first priority and that choosing who to remember in your Will is a big decision. It’s a common misconception that you have to be wealthy to leave a legacy. Legacies form a vital contribution to our charity and even a small proportion of what is left over, after your family is taken care of, will have a huge impact helping each of our charities continue to run crucial local services for many years to come. If like us, you feel passionately that your support should remain in the local area and help those in need living in your communities, please consider leaving a gift in your Will. Every penny donated to our charities is spent locally and will go towards helping the many thousands of older people who desperately need our help. To find out more or to request a free Age Connects Legacy Pack, please call: 029 2068 3604. 9

Knitted Stocking Campaign 2013 When we first planned to do this campaign way back in September we did not expect such an amazing response from our wonderfully creative knitting supporters! As we are now gathering up all the collection pots and displays from various shops, companies and restaurants, it is becoming evident what a huge success our knitting campaign has been. So far we have made in excess of £850 and are expecting more money to come in this week. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of all the knitters who donated both time and knitting wool to make these stockings. They started to come in thick and fast as soon as we had finely tuned the pattern and we were very appreciative to all those that noticed that the first draught of the pattern would have given an interesting length of stocking! The variety of colours and designs made the overall displays wonderfully colourful and I’m sure added to their ‘buy’ appeal. We received stockings from groups, like the one below, ladies (no gents that we are aware of so far) who hadn’t knitted for a while but were tempted to pick up their needles again and complete beginners who are now ‘hooked’. We know at this time of year Christmas decorations are packed away safely for another year but as we reflect on this National Knit and Natter group who meet at campaign we are already Rhymney Gwent Library planning for Christmas 2014. We hope to start earlier this year so that we have plenty of ‘stock’ so please keep knitting. More details will be available nearer the end of the year on our website, in Lifetimes and Facebook. The money raised from the sale of these stockings will go towards supporting our community projects, for example; the Good Neighbours Scheme who provide befriending and practical support to those who A stocking supporter; Hayley are lonely or isolated. from Selah Café, Llanishen

Like a lot of charities, we are dependent on the generosity of our supporters when it comes to fundraising and we hope that either through making a stocking or buying one, Age Connects will be a name to remember as your local independent charity promoting the wellbeing and independence of older people.

Cavell Nurses' Trust is the UK's largest benevolent fund for student nurses, midwives, registered nurses and healthcare assistants, both working and retired. The Trust supports the UK's 650,000 registered nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, together with retired and student nurses, who need financial help following illness, injury and other difficulties such as domestic abuse. Over the last five years the charity has given more than £2.5 million to financially support UK nurses, retired nurses, healthcare assistants, midwives and student nurses in need through one-off grants or regular payments. The Trust has worked in collaboration with a number of other organisations, both nationally and regionally, in identifying and supporting people in need. For more information, please visit or telephone 01527 595999. 10

A warm welcome to cyclists and volunteers from Pedal Power! That could be you! No matter your age, if you’ve never cycled or haven’t been on a bike for years, we may be able to help you get on 2 or 3 wheels. And you may be able to help us to help others to do the same. At Pedal Power we aim to encourage and enable people of all ages and abilities to experience the many benefits, the fun and freedom of cycling. We have people cycling with us into their nineties and have a range of cycles including many specialist trikes adapted for various disabilities and electric bikes and trikes. We are able to offer assessments for those who need specialist trikes or training for those who need to learn for the first time or to brush up their skills or confidence if they haven’t cycled for a long time. We are situated in the beautiful parkland of Pontcanna Fields next to Bute Park and the Taff Trail with easy access to peaceful, flat and traffic-free pathways- no need to fight with cars and lorries! And you can stop to enjoy a cuppa or something healthy to eat in our Cafe afterwards. We also have lots of volunteers helping us deliver our services, which is a great way to meet others, keep active and have fun. There is a wide variety of roles depending on what you would like to do. This includes practical help with getting the bikes ready for hire, reception to meet and greet visitors, administration, fundraising, being an ambassador for Pedal Power, helping with events... lots of different options. If you would like to find out more, please either call in to see us at Pontcanna Caravan Park, Off Dogo Street, Cardiff CF11 9JJ; phone 029 2039 0713 or email Or you can visit our website for more information.

Life Times Competition – Experience the thrill of a live classical concert in one of Europe’s best acoustic concert halls We’ve teamed up with Cardiff’s St David’s Hall to offer one of our readers a pair of top price tickets to experience the Philharmonia Orchestra as they take to the stage of the National Concert Hall of Wales on Friday the 4th April at 7:30pm in what is sure to be one of the highlight concerts of the International Concert Series. One of the most acclaimed of cellists, Natalie Clein joins with Conductor Edward Gardner in the wistful and deeply passionate Cello Concerto by Elgar. Hear it alongside the pomp and splendour of Wagner’s Overture to Rienzi and Elgar’s First Symphony: a rich musical journey through tragedy, nostalgia and haunting serenity to its final triumphant close. To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question: What is the of the Age Connects partnership project that aims to tackle negative stereotypes and unfair representation of older and younger people? Please send your answer, name and contact details to: Life Times Competition, 4 Cleeve House, Lambourne Crescent, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5GP by 21st March. Entries received after this date will not be counted. Winner will be notified week commencing 24th March. *Judge's decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

For more information on the International Concert Series or events at St David’s Hall visit the website at or telephone the box office on 029 2087 8444. Tickets for International Concert Series concerts start at just £5.


Please give your support Vulnerability, Isolation, and Poverty, affect many older people to different degrees, and if we are to live in a society where older people are respected and enabled to meet their aspirations then these issues must be addressed. In the year 2012-2013 we helped and supported approximately 20,000 older people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan via our products and services detailed below.

Advocacy Service Tel: 02920 683 683

Hospital Discharge Service Tel: 02920 683 693

Ageing Well Programme Tel: 02920 578 372

Welfare Rights Service Tel: 02920 567 883

Nail Cutting Service Tel: 02920 560 952

Rural Connections Tel: 01446 795631 (Vale)

Good Neighbour Scheme ‘Let’s Get Out’ Project Tel: 02920 360 306 Tel: 02920 683 687 (Cardiff) Tel: 07584346014 (Vale)

In order to continue our work, we are dependant upon the generous donations received from the public and corporate bodies. If you can help us improve the quality of life for older people, please make a donation to support these vital products and services. There are many ways in which you can support us such as making one-off or regular donations, leaving a legacy in your Will, purchasing a funeral plan through us or any of the other of the various products that we can help provide. 100% of your generous donation will make all the difference and directly help older people in our local area.

If you would like to donate or find out more, please contact Age Connects on 029 2068 3604 or visit: 12

To request your free Age Connects information pack, call 029 2068 3604 today and we’ll pop one the post!

Life Times - Jan/Feb 2014  
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