Age UK Bedfordshire
Listening Event For Older People Living in Rural Bedfordshire Healthy Eating for Life
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated or boring
Care in Crisis Campaign
What is Next for Social Care? What is Sepsis?
What are the symptoms and how can we avoid it?
What You Didn’t Know About… Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP
dates for your diary + Cancer Support + Greenfingered grandma + much more
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Home Fire Safety Message Chimney Safety: Stay safe and warm this winter. It is important to make sure that you keep your chimney clean. ‘Clean Chimneys are safer Chimneys’. Make sure you use a fully insured chimney sweep that is trained and qualified, to ensure your chimney is maintained and safe for use. Stay safe Are your old Christmas lights still safe? Old electrical decorations that have been poorly stored and overloaded sockets can create unnecessary hazards at this time of year. Switch Christmas lights off before you go to bed or go out – even Christmas lights need a break! Stay safe Candles mark special occasions and create a special atmosphere. They also bring fire into your home so treat them carefully. Always extinguish candles before you leave a room. Don’t leave them burning and double check they are out properly.
Stay safe For information about Home Fire Safety and Electric Blankets please refer to: www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/home-safety-and-security/home-fire-safety/ www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/home-safety-and-security/electric-blankets/
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12 18 Contents List Spring 2014 Healthy Eating for Life ......................6 Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated or boring.
Listening Event...........8 Age UK Bedfordshire hosted a Listening Event at the end of last year.
4 | SPRING 2014
13 Steps to Keeping Healthy ........ 10 Maintain or improve your health during the summer months with these tips.
Cancer Support .......... 12 Information and details of local support groups.
What You Didn’t Know About… .............. 16 Care in Crisis Campaign .................. 14
This quarter we ask Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP (Conservative Party for North East Bedfordshire).
Social care is any service designed to help people with support needs to live well.
What is Sepsis? ............ 18
Dates for Your Diary .................. 15
Puzzle Page .................. 20
Selection of events taking place.
What are the symptoms and how can we avoid it?
The usual trio are back, Sudoku, Wordsearch and a Quick Quiz.
Cover Image © Pressmaster, shutterstock.com
Meet the team… Editor
Amanda Jones Tel: 01234 360 510 Email: amanda.jones@ ageukbedfordshire.org.uk
Klaudia Len Tel: 01234 360 510 Email: klaudia.len@ ageukbedfordshire.org.uk
Age UK Bedfordshire
Head Office 78 - 82 Bromham Road Bedford MK40 2QH Tel: 01234 360 510 Email: voice@ ageukbedfordshire.org.uk
Chris Keller Email: chris@ lancepublishing.co.uk
Laurence Rowe Tel: 01536 526662 Email: laurence@ lancepublishing.co.uk
Lance Publishing Ltd 1st Floor Tailby House Bath Road Kettering NN16 8NL Tel: 01536 512624 www.lancepublishing.co.uk
Greenfingered Grandma ...................21
Charlie Chuckles ......... 22
This magazine is produced on behalf of Age UK Bedfordshire by Lance Publishing Ltd. All rights are reserved by the charity and no part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the charity. Age UK Bedfordshire will accept no responsibility for, or necessarily agree with, any claims made or views expressed in this publication, nor does the mention of any product, service or advertisement imply a recommendation by Age UK Bedfordshire. Reg. Charity No. 1090535
Offering her top tips for your garden in the springtime. Will he be able to make you laugh?
Lance Print Ltd Tel: (01480) 492183 www.lanceprint.co.uk
working hard to improve life for older people
Foreword from the CEO Hello to you all… The Spring has finally erupted with the onset of daffodils, snowdrops and tulips. Let us all hope for a long and warm summer, to follow what one can only say has been a long and very wet Winter period.
hope that all our readers have survived the deluge without any problems and flooding. All our best wishes go to those who have suffered through this last winter and hope they and their homes are soon repaired and safe again. As the warmer months roll out we can all think about sitting in the garden and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine which in itself is beneficial to us all. We can relax and listen to the birdsong while enjoying the gentle hum of our bees and other insects. Whether you are out and about or resting at home there are the annual events to look forward to like Mothers Day, and Fathers Day, Wimbledon (if you like tennis) The Boat Race,
The Trooping of the Colour, and the cricket season! For those that want to have a jolly good read look out in this edition of VOICE for hints and tips on health and healthy eating, Charlie’s Jokes, Grandma’s regular Gardening Tips and features about the Care in Crisis campaign being run by Age UK nationally. We also have Alistair Burt MP featured in our Q and A section. I hope you all enjoy this lovely time of year with family, friends and loved ones and happy reading.
Karen Karen Perry CEO, Age UK Bedfordshire
SPRING 2014 | 5
E a t i n g f o r L i f e
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated or boring! In fact, it’s about making sure you have plenty of variety.
t’s about not eating too much of some things – like calories, saturated fat, sugar and salt – while getting enough of others – like fibre and anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals.
Water makes up over 60% of our body weight, and it’s important to keep hydrated to maintain this. You should aim to drink six to eight glasses of liquid like water, juice, milk or fruit squash a day. It’s best to avoid too many fizzy drinks as they contain a lot of sugar and calories, which can result in tooth decay and weight gain when consumed excessively.
The Five Main Food Groups
There are five main food groups (see below) that we all need to eat to maintain a balanced diet,
but it can sometimes be confusing how much of each we are supposed to have. • Fruit and vegetables • Starchy foods • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, lentils and nuts • Milk and dairy foods • Fat, sugar and salt The eatwell plate can help you. Here are some facts and tips to help you turn healthy eating advice into enjoyable meals and snacks.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are full of minerals, fibre, and antioxidant vitamins that help our bodies to work efficiently and support our immune systems to keep us healthy. They can be fresh, frozen, dried, canned or juiced and should make up about a third of our diet. Many of
One Portion Is… •B reakfast A glass of juice or a heaped tablespoon of dried fruit or a banana with your cereal •S nacks An apple or a handful of grapes or a pear •L unch A side salad or a tomato and lettuce in a sandwich or three heaped tablespoons of baked beans •D inner Three heaped tablespoons of vegetables like peas or carrots or sweetcorn
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Beans, Lentils and Nuts
Eat a portion of any of these foods at two of your daily meals. They all contain protein, which helps to build and repair your body. You don’t need to eat meat or fish every day – try cheese, well-cooked eggs, beans, lentils or tofu instead. Try to eat fish twice a week – one portion of white fish such as haddock or cod, and one portion of oily fish such as salmon or sardines. Oily fish are rich in vitamin D and a type of fat that helps to prevent heart disease. Avoid frying meat or fish.
Breads, Other Cereals and Potatoes
Have a serving of starchy food (bread, chapatis, breakfast cereal, potatoes, yams, rice or pasta) with every meal. These foods give you energy. Wholegrain foods such as brown rice or wholegrain bread or pasta contain B vitamins, minerals and fibre that keep you well and help prevent constipation.
Milk and Dairy foods
These foods contain calcium, which helps to keep bones strong. Try to have three servings a day and choose lower-fat versions, such as semi-skimmed milk, half-fat cheese and low-fat paneer where you can. A serving can be a cup of milk, pot of yoghurt, matchbox-size piece of cheese or small pot of cottage cheese. If you’re vegan or have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, try lactose-free milk or milk and dairy alternatives fortified with calcium such as soya, nut, rice and oat drinks.
Foods Containing Fat and Sugar
Watch the total amount of fat in your diet, including oil and ghee. Limit the times you eat chips or fried food. Don’t fill up on foods containing saturated fat or sugar such as cakes, biscuits, sausages and meat pies; leave room for more nutritious foods. Saturated fats raise the level of cholesterol in the blood and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. You should aim to eat five portions a day. Remember each portion must be different, and try to choose foods of different colours to help you get the range of vitamins you need.
6 | SPRING 2014
Image: © Africa Studio, shutterstock.com
us don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, and it can be hard to know how much a ‘portion’ actually is. Here are a few simple suggestions, which count as one portion each:
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working hard to improve life for older people
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SPRING 2014 | 7
Listening Event for Older People Living in Rural Bedfordshire
You might be aware that Age UK Bedfordshire hosted a Listening Event ‘Later Life in Rural England’ on the 5th December 2013.
he event was arranged for older people, Councillors and MPs to discuss the challenges faced, by our local residents, of living in a rural community. In conjunction with Age UK national, this campaign is designed to define problems faced by older people and bring them to the attention of the public and people responsible for the areas they live in. This article contains the wide and varied feedback from the focus groups on the day and we are sure you will find it interesting and thought provoking.
• Many older people are reliant on public transport as they do not or no longer drive. The public transport system is poor in rural areas or on routes to hospitals
8 | SPRING 2014
in neighbouring counties (Milton Keynes, Lister). • In general the bus companies seem to be reducing services. •B us drivers don’t appear to have any courtesy or empathy for older people endeavouring to get on/off buses, moving off before they are seated. On some occasions buses are early and then do not wait at the stops until the allotted times. •H ospital transport is a problem especially for older carers or families endeavouring to visit loved ones.
Social Activities, Clubs & Socialising:
• Access to exercise is important to keep healthy and active and older people should be encouraged to
take these up, but transport needs to be available. •S ome churches have good social access and networks. These could be used more. • Isolation for older people is still key. There is little communication and time for anyone to spend with older people (District nurses for example) and this has an impact on wellbeing. Communities are now less cohesive and many neighbours work all day therefore the social contact is less than it used to be. •T here needs to be a telephone befriending service within local communities and villages so we can better support people locally. (Age UK Bedfordshire is setting this up in 2014) •C arers are commonly isolated and lonely but as they are in a household this is not perceived as isolation. •M any people would appear outwardly to be coping but in fact need help and access to information to assist them. •B owls Club needs financial support to keep going. •A key to socialising and inclusion is up to date access and information about what is available.
Internet & Connectivity:
• Access to internet is still not readily available in all areas. This should be taken into account with services. • IT is still not available to all people especially older people who may not be able to afford the cost of hardware or the ongoing internet provider charges. • There appears to be little basic IT training available that would help those older people who wish to take up IT.
Image: © ollyy, shutterstock.com
Age UK Bedfordshire
Some conditions now are not treated locally causing issues with trying to get to out-of-county hospitals and visiting. Information on hospital transport is scarce. • Information is a general issue. Signposting and information is lacking in some areas. Parish Councils could help by working in partnership with voluntary providers to keep information networks open and up to date. • Community transport organisations appear to be ceasing which adds to transport problems. Low platform buses are still in short supply meaning boarding and disembarking issues for older people in particular. • Some NHS services are now based outside towns too, in Clapham for example, and these are not easily accessible on public transport.
IMPROVE YOUR HEARING • Changing communities mean that many families are more distant and therefore the children do not have regular contact with older people. This results in younger people having less understanding of older people and vice versa. Schools could help to minimise this within the curriculum. • Could there be potential schemes to recycle IT to older people? There are difficulties as hard drives can’t be completely cleaned. • Older people who have no internet access are suffering discrimination as many companies now rely on IT and online services for billing etc which are cheaper in comparison to paper bills. • The increase of companies using online forms and registration facilities mean that some people cannot access them or struggle to get access to forms. • Shopping is available on the internet but people have limited access. There has been a death of the village shop.
• Toilets should be available in towns and rural areas. • The challenge is getting out of your house. Transport is a big thing but you also need a footpath. These might not exist or be covered in parked cars. The speed limit in many areas in Bedfordshire is 60mph.
• Health and Social care need more home visits and wheelchair access. Lack of support from district nurses and cut backs means it is a fight to get people home. Carers from Social Services are lacking and they need to look at peoples’ needs. • There has been a change as Twinwoods (Clapham) SEPT, have moved their
clinics to where bus services are not present; this is being changed so access can be improved. •S ome NHS services are now based outside towns too, in Clapham for example, and these are hard to get to. Transport is an issue for many accessing healthcare (see points under Transport). •T here are surgeries within GP surgeries which are being able to provide access to advice. People need to know what they are and how to access them and they need to be clearly advertised to them.
•T here needs to be a strategy to assist people to downsize which would benefit the whole community. •O lder people are a growing population and therefore plans for the future need to be made now. •T here is a problem with poverty for older people and the concept that the younger generation are less well off. Expectations in society are vastly different for younger people now than years ago. For example eating out was a luxury but now it is an expectation. •T he pension age is getting higher and higher, are there going to be jobs out there? Will this take jobs away from younger people?
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•O n paper publications older people with sight problems find that black text on a white background is easier to read and many designs are subtle colours making it hard for older people to read.
working hard to improve life for older people
SPRING 2014 | 9
4. Eat More Snacks
Steps to Keeping Healthy Take advantage of the summer months to try some of the steps below to maintain or improve your health and wellbeing. 1. Put the Kettle On
Dehydration can make us feel tired and confused, so it’s important to make sure that you’re having enough to drink. Older people are particularly susceptible to dehydration because we aren’t as sensitive to the feeling of thirst and our kidneys don’t function as efficiently as they did when we were younger. NHS guidelines recommend drinking 8 medium-sized (150ml) glasses of water each day. Tea, coffee and squash all
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count towards this total - but look for low-sugar varieties and, if you take sugar in your tea, try to cut down.
2. Floss Before Bed
Using dental floss helps to prevent gum disease by removing pieces of food and plaque from between the teeth. If it’s left to build up you might notice sore or bleeding gums, and studies have shown links between a build up of dental plaque and heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, strokes and lung disease. Dental Hygienist Sally Goss, from The Harley Street Dental
Studio, says: ‘It becomes especially important to floss regularly as we get older, because gums often start to recede, creating more nooks and crannies where food and bacteria can become trapped. ‘I recommend flossing at least once a day - ideally before bed. It’s a good idea to floss before you brush and if you wear glasses, put them on first so that you can see what you’re doing. ‘Dental floss can be tricky to grip, so I advise my older patients to use interdental brushes, which are easier to hold and can be moved back and forth between teeth more easily. ‘Alternatively, there’s a device called an Air Floss, which fires a jet of water in between teeth at the push of a button. When you use one of these, flossing takes less than two minutes.’
3. Improve Your Balance
According to NHS guidelines, healthy adults aged over 65 should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, plus muscle strengthening activity on two or more days.
You may have been brought up to believe that eating between meals is bad for you, but that’s really not the case. ‘If you can’t manage much food in one go, then eat little and often,’ says Gaynor Bussell from the British Dietetic Association. ‘Research shows that eating regularly helps prevent weight gain.’ However, that doesn’t mean that you should fill up on sugary treats like cakes and biscuits - half a sandwich, cheese on toast, soup, a bowl of cereal or a couple of crumpets are all good options.
5. Buy a Pair of Trainers
Sore or painful feet can really affect your ability to lead a full and active life. It’s tempting to stay indoors if you can’t find a pair of comfortable shoes and relying on slippers can make some foot problems worse and increase the risk of slips or falls. ‘Many people wear slippers if their feet are hurting, but this can make things worse as they encourage you to shuffle rather than letting the joints work as they should,’ says Mike O’Neil, Consultant Podiatrist and spokesperson for the College of Podiatry. ‘A pair of running shoes is the best option as these provide a good amount of shock absorption and stability and also support the arch.’
6. Get a Vitamin D Boost We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our
Image: © Monkey Business Images, shutterstock.com
‘Yoga and Tai Chi can be very helpful for older people, as they help to increase flexibility and improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls,’ says fitness expert Ben Coomber. ‘Walking, swimming, aqua aerobics and dancing are also good, fun ways to build fitness and you can strengthen muscles by using light hand weights as you sit in a chair.’
skin - so it’s no surprise that many us are deficient, especially during the winter months. That’s why many doctors recommend a daily vitamin D supplement especially if you’re over 65. ‘Vitamin D is a supplement really worth taking as its hard to get enough in the UK,’ says GP Dr Ellie Cannon. ‘We know that vitamin D is great for bone health as it helps the body use calcium, so this is particularly important for older people. ‘Studies recently have also shown that it may lower your chances of developing some cancers.’
7. Share the Cooking
You can save some time and money by sharing cooking duties with friends
‘Cooking for others can increase your interest in meal preparation and you can challenge yourself by cooking a new dish each week. This will encourage you to eat a greater variety of foods and have a more balanced diet.’
8. Have a Good Laugh
Did you know that laughter really can be a great remedy for all kinds of conditions? Researchers say that it can help with conditions including diabetes, eczema, heart disease and asthma. It can also boost the immune system, help to fight infections, burn calories and relieve pain. According to an Oxford study, it can even have a positive effect on rheumatoid arthritis for up to 12 hours. So
As we age we become more susceptible to certain problems such as cataracts, floaters, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Emma Coulthurst
or family. Either take it in turns to cook once or twice a week, or join forces to cook different parts of the meal. ‘If you have lost enthusiasm for cooking then try and eat with friends or family as much as possible,’ says British Dietetic Association spokesperson, Gaynor Bussell.
watch your favourite television comedy, visit a comedy club or spend time with people who make you laugh.
9. Book an Eye Test
Your eyesight is probably changing as a natural part of the ageing process, but regular check-ups can
working hard to improve life for older people
help you to retain the best possible quality of vision. Emma Coulthurst, spokesperson for Specsavers, says: ‘As we age we become more susceptible to certain problems such as cataracts, floaters, glaucoma and macular degeneration. ‘This is why we recommend that people have their eyes tested at least every two years, as this means we can diagnose and treat these conditions early.’ Eye tests are free if you’re over 60, and Specsavers offers a 25% discount on glasses from the £69 range or above to customers aged 60-plus.
10. Take up a New Hobby
It’s easy to become lonely and isolated, especially if you live alone. A recent report by think tank Demos found that over-65s in Britain are lonelier than those in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. Experts say that loneliness increases the risk of heart disease and dementia and makes sufferers less likely to exercise and to drink more. The best way to get out and about and spend time with others is to find a new hobby and join a club or social group. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a book group, a dancing class, a walking group or a computer group. Check with your local library or community centre to find out what’s going on in your area and make it a regular date in your diary.
11. Get Your Hearing Checked
You might think that your hearing is perfect - and it might well be. But your hearing can fade gradually without you noticing, as the small, hairlike cells within the ear get worn out over the years. When this happens, you don’t go deaf - but you will find it harder to hear sounds
clearly, particularly if there’s a lot of background noise. You may benefit from a hearing test if other people comment the volume of your television or radio is turned up very high, if you find it hard to follow dialogue when watching a film, or if you struggle to follow a conversation when more than one person is talking. Ask your GP to carry out a hearing test if you’re worried.
12. Have an Early Night
Many of us have trouble getting - or staying - asleep as we get older. This can leave us tired and grumpy as, contrary to common belief, we still need the same amount of sleep we did when we were younger. Napping during the day, then staying up later in the evening can just make the problem worse - it’s more helpful to establish a regular routine and get to bed at a sensible time. So make a warm, milky drink and head to bed with a book. You can listen to the radio, but avoid watching television or using a computer, as these make it harder to wind down.
13. Exercise Your Brain
New US research shows that keeping your brain active by reading, writing, completing a crossword or doing a Sudoku puzzle can help to delay memory loss and even reduce the onset, or progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, German researchers found that you need to keep your mind AND body active to get the most benefit - so 30 minutes of exercise, such as gardening, housework or a gentle walk, combined with 30 minutes of puzzle-solving, on top of your usual daily activities, could help to ward off dementia.
SPRING 2014 | 11
Cancer Support Being referred for suspected cancer or being diagnosed with cancer can produce a range of emotions – shock, worry, fear, anger – and raise questions both immediately and once you leave the consulting room. Your GP or consultant or specialist nurse should be able support you with information and details of local support groups. Emotional Support and Information
There are a number of national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK that offer practical and emotional support and information to people affected by cancer. This includes families and friends too. Support is available through their help lines, websites, discussion forums and wide ranging leaflets. They can also signpost to charities dedicated to particular cancers.
Having treatment for cancer can mean making frequent visits to hospital and paying for car parking. You may be eligible for help towards these costs through the NHS low income scheme or you may find the hospital offers special parking concessions if you make regular visits for treatment. Contact Macmillan Cancer Support’s benefits helpline if you have
1 2 | SPRING 2014
financial difficulties due to these or other costs during or following your treatment. They can explain the help you may be eligible to receive, whether you work or are retired. If you were working before your diagnosis and your return to work is delayed or you are unable to return to work, you will be entitled to income from either your employer or Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Contact your employer or local Job Centre Plus office for information.
Further Information Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading independent organisation dedicated to funding cancer research. It is a charity funded almost entirely by the public. Cancerhelp UK is their patient information website. Their helpline is staffed by specialist nurses. Visit: www.cancer researchuk.org and www. cancerhelp.org.uk Helpline: 0808 800 4040 (freephone)
Cancer Counselling Trust
The Trust offers a series of free confidential counselling sessions - either face to face or by telephone if you live too far from their London base - to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. Visit: www.cancer counselling.org.uk Telephone: 020 7843 2292
Carers UK is a charity providing information and advice to carers about their rights and how to get financial and other support. They also have a network of around 80 local branches. Visit: www.carersuk.org Carersline: 0808 808 7777 (freephone)
Carers Direct is an online resource and helpline providing information, advice and support for carers. Visit: www.nhs.uk/ carersdirect Helpline: 0808 802 0202
This government website has special sections on ‘money, tax and benefits’ and ‘caring for someone.’ These explain the financial and other support available and how you can get it. Visit: www.direct.gov.uk
Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support is a national charity that aims
You could be in the Algarve,
relaxing in the sun... Image: © LeventeGyori, shutterstock.com
working in the community and in hospices offering day and in-patient care provides care mainly for people with cancer but also other life threatening illnesses. Speak to your GP, district nurse or hospital doctor for more information about the help they offer in your area. Visit: www.marie curie.org.uk Helpline: 0800 716 146
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NHS Cancer Screening Programmes
The website explains the screening programmes for breast, cervical and bowel cancer. You can download booklets that explain how the programmes work. Visit: www.cancer screening.nhs.uk
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to improve the lives of people affected by cancer by providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support and campaign for better cancer care. Their helpline staff can answer questions about living with cancer and signpost to charities dedicated to particular types of cancer. Macmillan nurses and other health professionals can support you while in hospital and once you go home. Speak to your GP, district nurse or hospital doctor if you think it would be helpful to be put in touch with a Macmillan nurse. Visit: www.macmillan.org.uk Helpline: 0808 808 00 00
Marie Curie Cancer Care
Marie Curie Cancer Care through its Marie Curie nurses
The Health A-Z section of this website contains information on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of many types of cancer. It also includes video interviews with specialists and patients. Visit: www.nhs.uk
You can check this website to find out which types of cancer are covered by NICE guidance. Look for a patient version of any Guidance document. You can find it under the heading – NICE guidance written for patients and carers. You can order it in booklet form or download it from the website. Visit: www.nice.org.uk Orderline: 0845 003 7783
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CONTACT US NOW FOR YOUR FREE 2014 BROCHURE
200 FANTASTIC DAYS OUT! Towns & Villages • Coastal • Theatres • • Steam Trains • River Cruises •
Selection of future day excursions:-
23 May - Chelsea Flower Show • 06 June - View from the Shard • 06 July - Cotswolds & Cream Tea Steam Train • 03 July - Highgrove Garden • 12 July - Hampton Court Flower Show • 30 July - Sandringham Flower Show • 28 August Houses of Parliment Tour • 14 Sept - Stonehenge & Salisbury • 28 Sep Buckingham Palace
HOLIDAYS & SHORT BREAKS Lots of new destinations
• Isle of Wight • Babbacombe • Portsmouth Maritime Weekend • Lancashire Hotpot • Highlight of Norfolk • Enchanting Exmouth & all the old favourites SPRING 2014 | 13
Care in Crisis Campaign
1 4 | SPRING 2014
What is Social Care? Social care is any service designed to help people with support needs to live well. This could be someone coming into your home to help with tasks like washing, dressing, getting in and out of bed and going to the toilet, right up to 24/7 support in a care home.
Image: ÂŠ Alexander Raths, shutterstock.com
What is Next for Social Care?
are services should protect people who are vulnerable, enable a decent quality of life, support independence and encourage people to remain active. Age UK nationally has been campaigning for Government to look at care for older people and make changes. Recent changes to local authority budgets have had a huge impact on the care system, and we are now witnessing the devastating effect of this ever growing funding gap. In real terms, spending on social care has fallen by around ÂŁ770 million since 2010. There have been some steps in the right direction - the Care Bill, a cap on care costs, and
These seven building blocks were:
1. Paying for care in a fair and transparent way. 2. Having access to care and support with no chance of being left without it. 3. Receiving high quality care and support. 4. Receiving dignified care and support in order to live safely and with self-respect. 5. Ensuring carers are supported so that family or friends providing care are not expected to sacrifice health, career or financial security. 6. Having a simple, easy to understand system in place. 7. Being able to plan in advance before needing care.
A few events that are taking place over the next few months. 30th March
British Summer time begins
St Georges Day
1st May May Day
Spring Bank Holiday
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
Trooping the Colour
Summer Bank Holiday
Image: ÂŠ Brian A Jackson, shutterstock.com
proposals to prevent and tackle abuse and neglect in health and care settings. However there is still much work to be done. Age UK across the nation wants a care system where people can access the care they need and in 2012 together we identified seven building blocks needed to make the social care system work for older people.
The above steps have gone some way to help the situation but more needs to be done in the future to protect older people and their health and social care. The Care Bill that has been a potential landmark piece of legislation will be jeopardised unless it is matched with sustainable funding so that older and disabled people who need care can get it. Age UKs across the country are continuing to bring the issues to the attention of both local MPs and the Government.
Dates for Your Diary
For more information on this campaign you can visit the website www.ageuk.org.uk/ careincrisis where you will find updates, be able to join the campaign, and find the latest report from Age UK.
working hard to improve life for older people
SPRING 2014 | 15
What You Didn’t Know About… Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP Conservative Party for North East Bedfordshire This is a where we ask a prominent local person a series of questions that aim get behind their public persona. This quarter we have invited Alistair Burt.
Q: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? A: My father, in terms of deciding on public service career. The way he looked after patients influenced how I have done my job with the public. Q: What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
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A: That not to have a vocation or mission leads to a feeling of emptiness. Q: What are your hopes and dreams for future generations? A: That they live in a world with less conflict and more equality between nations. Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: More London Marathons than any other MP! Q: If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be? A: My wife and I having one day alone at Lake Como before a conference. Perfect day. Q: Where did you grow up? A: Bury, Lancashire, a little town with everything, the
school that made me, fine church, and a football club to follow forever! Q: One book one record, desert island? A: Janis Ian – ‘Between the Lines’, and ‘Down & Out in Paris’ by George Orwell. Q: How has being a parent changed you? A: …and grandparent!
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world, and this will become more crucial. Women and children (in the main) having to walk three hours and more to collect fresh water every day devastates family and community. Q: Do you plan on retiring ever? A: No! Of course I will leave paid employment at a sensible time but expect to enjoy my retirement continuing a number of my passions in a different way. Q: If you met God, what would you say to him? A: Thank you. Q: What advice would you give to the next Prime Minister? A: Stay in the European Union. Q: Do you have a favourite joke? A: What did one highland cow say to another? Och Aye the Moo! Q: Who was the last person you hugged? A: My wife! And I hug all my family a lot. Q: How much is a pint of milk? A: Depends where you shop. 69p from our milkman or 4965p in stores.
A sharpened sense of the future and a greater awareness of what matters to younger people in their world. Q: What was the worst thing you did as a teenager? A: Got arrested for stealing a belisha beacon in London – no conviction though!
Q: What did you think you were going to be when you grew up? A: A footballer, then a lawyer. Q: If you could wave a wand and make one significant change on the planet what would it be? A: Universal access to clean water. I have seen the effect the lack of access to water has on communities around the
working hard to improve life for older people
Q: Which radio station do you listen to more than any other? A: R5live - for the football! Q: Do you get nervous before making a speech? A: If well prepared then no, sometimes a new audience can be genuinely daunting if they know a subject incredibly well. But I usually get rid of the nerves while I’m compiling the speech.
Q: Are you a cat or dog person? A: Dog. My mother bred dogs and we have had dogs in our family until recent years. Companionable and loving - the very best of friends. Q: Current ‘can’t miss’ tv programme? A: Sky news! Q: The one defining moment when you knew you wanted to be a politician? A: I had been involved in the Conservative Party as a schoolboy – but the defining moment came post-University and Law School when I phoned the Hornsey & Wood Green Conservative Association to volunteer for the 1981 GLC election campaign and committed again to working for a Party. Q: If you won Euromillions what would you splash out on? A: 1903 FA Cup Final Programme, Bury vs Derby County. Q: What book(s) are you currently reading? A: Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, David Beckham’s autobiography, and ‘The Idle Traveller, the art of slow travel’ by Dan Kieran. Q: Do you have a sporting hero? A: David Bedford - my first sporting hero as a school cross country runner and a man I’ve got to know through the London Marathon. And Sir Bobby Charlton, football’s gentleman, who supplied the pass from which I scored a goal in a charity match at Old Trafford.
SPRING 2014 | 17
epsis is not just limited to the blood and can affect the whole body, including the organs. Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by the body overreacting to an infection. The body’s immune system goes into overdrive, setting off a series of reactions that can lead to widespread inflammation (swelling) and blood clotting.
Symptoms usually develop quickly and include: • a fever or high temperature over 38°C (100.4°F) • chills • a fast heartbeat • fast breathing
In severe cases you may notice:
• you feel dizzy when you stand up • confusion or disorientation • nausea and vomiting Although anybody can develop sepsis from a minor infection, some people are more vulnerable.
Such as Those:
Stages of Sepsis
Sepsis develops in three stages, described below. 1. U ncomplicated sepsis is caused by infections, such
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What are the symptoms and how can we avoid it? Sepsis is often referred to as either blood poisoning or septicaemia, although it could be argued that both terms are not entirely accurate. Source: NHS England and Age UK Bedfordshire as flu or dental abscesses. It is very common and does not usually require hospital treatment. 2. Severe sepsis occurs when the body’s response to infection has started to interfere with the function of vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs or liver. 3. S eptic shock occurs in severe cases of sepsis, when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level, preventing your vital organs from receiving enough oxygenated blood.
If it is not treated, sepsis can progress from uncomplicated sepsis to septic shock and can eventually lead to multiple organ failure and death. If you think you have sepsis, it is important to get it diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Contact your GP immediately or visit the A&E department of your local hospital. If you think that you or someone in your care has severe sepsis or septic shock, phone 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Severe sepsis and septic shock are considered medical emergencies and normally require admission to an intensive care unit, where the body’s organs can be supported while the infection is treated. Because of problems with vital organs, people with severe sepsis are likely to be very ill, and approximately 30-50% will die as a result of the condition. It is estimated that there are over 30,000 cases of severe sepsis in the UK every year, and the number seems to be rising. This means that around 10,000
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• with a medical condition or receiving medical treatment that weakens their immune system • who are already in hospital with a serious illness • who are very young or very old • who have just had surgery or who have wounds or injuries as a result of an accident
What is Sepsis?
the body. The most common sites of infection leading to sepsis are the lungs, urinary tract, abdomen and pelvis.
Sources of Infection Types of infection associated with sepsis include:
• lung infection (pneumonia) • flu (influenza) • appendicitis • infection of the lining of the digestive system (peritonitis) • an infection of the bladder, urethra or kidneys (urinary tract infection) • skin infections, such as cellulitis, often caused when an intravenous drip or catheter has been inserted into the body through the skin • post-surgical (after surgery) infections • infections of the nervous system, such as meningitisor encephalitis In approximately one in five cases, the infection and source of sepsis cannot be detected.
What Causes the Symptoms of Sepsis?
to 15,000 people die as a result of contracting severe sepsis.
Help to avoid becoming part of these statistics.
Remember the early signs: high temperature, fast breathing, a quickened heart rate and chills. If you have any or all of these symptoms phone your doctor. Don’t wait! Sadly, too many people are no longer with us because they did not want to bother their GP. Be a bother - stay alive. Sepsis can be triggered by an infection in any part of
Usually, your immune system will keep the infection limited to one place (known as a localised infection). Your body will produce white blood cells, which travel to the site of the infection to destroy the germs causing infection. A series of biological processes occur, such as tissue swelling, which helps fight the infection and prevents it spreading. This process is known as inflammation. If your immune system is weakened or an infection is particularly severe, it can spread through the blood into other parts of the body. This causes the immune system to go into overdrive, and the process of inflammation affects the entire body.
working hard to improve life for older people
This can cause more problems than the initial infection, as widespread inflammation damages tissue and interferes with the flow of blood, leading to a dangerous drop in blood pressure, which stops oxygen reaching your organs and tissue.
People at Risk
Everybody is potentially at risk of developing sepsis from minor infections, such as flu.
However, some people are more vulnerable, including people who: • have a medical condition, such as HIV or leukaemia, that weakens their immune system • are receiving medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, that weakens their immune system • are very young or very old • have just had surgery, or have wounds or injuries as a result of an accident • are on mechanical ventilation • with drips or catheters attached to their skin • are genetically prone to infection
Sepsis is a particular risk for people already in hospital due to another serious illness. Despite the best efforts of doctors and nurses, secondary infections acquired in hospital are always a potential risk. Hospital-acquired bacterial infections, such as MRSA, tend to be more serious as the bacteria causing the infection have often developed a resistance to antibiotics. In the case of suspected sepsis, it is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be given. This can help stop the progress of sepsis and any long-term damage to the body.
If your sepsis is detected early enough and has not affected organ or tissue function (uncomplicated sepsis), it may be possible to treat the condition at home. You will be prescribed a course of antibiotic tablets. If the sepsis is severe, or you develop septic shock, you will need emergency hospital treatment, usually in an care unit (ICU). ICUs are able to support any affected body function, such as breathing or blood circulation, while the medical staff focus on treating the infection.
Severe sepsis is treated with intravenous antibiotics (given directly into a vein). There will not usually be time to wait until a specific type of infection has been identified, so ‘broad-spectrum’ antibiotics will initially be given. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are designed to work against a wide range of known infectious bacteria, and can also treat some fungal infections. Once a specific bacterium has been identified, a more ‘focused’ antibiotic can be used. This has the advantage of reducing the chance of the bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. You can help to protect yourself from getting sepsis by maintaining good personal hygiene habits, such as washing your hands regularly (not just after using the toilet), avoiding putting your hands and fingers in your mouth. Especially avoiding nail biting and nibbling the skin around your nails. Treat all cuts with an antiseptic and keep a close eye on their progress. Don’t try and go it alone. If in any doubt contact your GP or A & E.
SPRING 2014 | 19
Puzzle Page Solutions to all three puzzles can be found on page 22
The Game of Logic Place each of the digits 1 to 9 in each row, column and 3x3 box. There is only one solution.
Quick Quiz Test your knowledge in our seasonal themed Quick Quiz.
2. Alice Springs is located in which Australian state?
3. Narcissus pseudonarcissus is the Latin name for which Spring flower?
Which One is Missing? Can you find which seasonal word is missing from the list below?
BUDS FLOWERS GRASS RAIN SEEDS SPRING TULIPS Umbrella
1. What is the Spring Equinox traditionally known as?
4. The ‘Springtime of the Peoples’ occurred in Europe in which year? 5. The play ‘Springtime for Hitler’ features in which comedy film? 6. Spring Symphony is the nickname of which of Schumann’s symphonies? 7. Which vegetable is known as a scallion in Northern Ireland? 8. Which marmot is traditionally used as indicator of an early spring in Northern Hemisphere countries? 9. In Greek mythology, who is the Goddess of Spring Growth?
Share Your Voice With Us…
e are looking to publish a selection of articles where readers write into the magazine
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with their thoughts, views on topics raised in the magazine or support they have received from Age UK Bedfordshire. Please write to: The Editor, Age UK Bedfordshire,
Voice, 78-82 Bromham Rd, Bedford MK40 2QH or Email: voice@ ageukbedfordshire.org.uk. We look forward to hearing from you next time…
Remember the next edition will be available from early September so if you have any stories, events going on or photographs please send them in.
Greenfingered Grandma After the very wet winter I hope spring and summer will be more settled.
Jobs to be Done in the Garden in Spring Include…
weather. I think I shall plant a Buddleja this year to help provide the butterflies with nectar. It is also the right time of year to think about other gardening needs. I recently visited Greenfingered Grandpa’s grave and was delighted to see the flowers in full bloom and took advantage of some sunshine to tidy up and remove some old leaves and debris.
working hard to improve life for older people
Mr Singh from Toddington contacted me recently with the following question: ‘My compost pile is really smelly, all I want
SPRING 2014 | 21
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t is such a delight to see the garden bursting into life with the colours of bright flowers and blossom. As soon as the sun came out I pottered around in the garden tidying the borders. My roses already had aphids on them due to the mild weather so keep an eye out for these pests throughout the warmer
• Protect new spring shoots from slugs (be careful when using slug pellets if you own pets) •T op dress containers with fresh compost (remove old leaves to discourage vine weevil) •M ow the lawn on dry days when necessary and apply weed and feed •D eal with weeds before they get out of hand •O pen the greenhouse or conservatory doors and vents on warm days • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after they have flowered •P lant your bedding plants outside when the last frosts have passed
to do is put it on the garden! What is wrong with it?’ Compost can build up excess hydrogen sulfide or nitrogen which cause unpleasant smells. The best way to deal with this is to turn the pile to release the gases and introduce more air into the compost. Try to add less nitrogen-rich items if the smell is like ammonia. A good mix of green and brown material is best. Greens include old kitchen waste such as vegetable peelings, fruit skins, weeds (not ivy or bindweed as this will grow), tea bags, grass cuttings and herbivore animal manure (such as horse manure which can rot down to make a good well-rotted fertiliser). Browns include cardboard, shredded paper and tougher hedge clippings. Avoid meat, fish, cooked food, coal ash, cat litter, dog faeces and disposable nappies. Above all a good mixture of ingredients is best with some moisture, air and patience.
Charlie Chuckles Every issue Charlie Chuckles will do his best to make you smile!
Charlies Comical Quickies! What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta I’m on a whisky diet… last week I lost three days!
Sally Walked in to the Dentist…
R B L I A F W D
M U R L U R E U
P P B E A T G B
S S P I L U T G
S A N I S W O L A
3 4 1 8 7 6 2 9 5
8 6 3 5 4 1 9 7 2
2 1 7 6 8 9 5 3 4
4 5 9 7 2 3 8 1 6
6 7 4 2 1 8 3 5 9
1 3 5 4 9 7 6 2 8
9 8 2 3 6
1. The Vernal Equinox, 2. Northern Territory, 3. Daffodil, 4. 1848, 5. The Producers, 6. Symphony Number 1, 7. Spring Onion, 8. The Groundhog, 9. Persephone
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from Page 20
“Well,” said the Dentist after a long pause, “…I
My wife said… ‘Take me in your arms and whisper something soft and sweet’ I replied… ‘chocolate fudge’
“Perfect,” said Sally happily. “I would like to make an appointment for next Tuesday, for my husband Jack.”
“Only £30?,” countered Sally, “that’s still £100, you’ve got to make it cheaper!”
“£130! (gasped Sally) that’s ridiculous! There must be a way for you to go cheaper.”
suppose if we take it out with a wrench we could knock it down to £50.”
“It’s £130,” was the prompt reply.
“Well,” said the Dentist thoughtfully “I suppose if we don’t numb it, we could knock off £30.”
“How much do you charge to pull out a tooth?” She asked.
What happens if you eat yeast and shoe polish? Every morning you’ll rise and shine!
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