Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dementia therapy project kicks off

As the World Cup launches this week, an award-winning dementia therapy programme which uses sporting memories is looking for supporters to join its new project in North East Lincolnshire.

North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging community groups and businesses to join the Sporting Memories programme, which uses sports reminiscence to improve the wellbeing of older people, including those living with dementia.
A launch event is taking place on Thursday 26th June at Grimsby Town Football Club for volunteers, care homes, day centres, health and social care staff, sport and leisure organisations who want to help make a difference to older people. Up to thirty organisations or sixty individuals will receive free training and support to deliver the Sporting Memories programme locally, with a view to developing local support networks for people living with dementia.

Tony Jameson-Allen, Director of Sporting Memories, says, “Whether you’re a football fan or not, the Sporting Memories programme uses any sport reminiscence to improve the lives of older people. We initially piloted the project at Cranwell Court care home with North East Lincolnshire CCG; it proved so successful that the Health and Wellbeing Board has agreed to fund a full-time project. Now we’re looking for groups, organisations and businesses to join the network and help make a difference to people’s lives. Whether it’s hosting a Sporting Memories group, transcribing people’s memories or researching local sporting history – we need your help.

“Premier League football referee Howard Webb MBE, who is officiating in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, is a supporter of the programme and has shared his previous World Cup memories as part of the programme. If football isn’t your thing, we’re always looking for other memories from tennis to ice skating or running.”

Dr Karin Severin, Clinical Lead for Older People for North East Lincolnshire CCG, says, “The Sporting Memories programme helps people with dementia to open up and increases their self esteem, which is an important part of therapy. I’m delighted that the project is being rolled out across North East Lincolnshire and it’s a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to help create a dementia friendly community.”

To register your interest visit www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com.


You’re never too old!

To think of elderly people as helpless and frail is nothing more than an insult. These days older people lead active lives and are much healthier. What’s there to do in the county to keep you busy?

Far from the frail, weak and feeble stereotype, we’d argue that Lincolnshire’s elderly population is actually strides ahead when it comes to staying active. As proven time and time again, remaining active is the key to a happy and long-term old age. Shut yourself away and your body and mind will feel old, nurture your creative or social side and there’s plenty of fun to be had.

When old age slows you down, it’s a good sign to maybe calm down a bit, but it shouldn’t stop you getting out there and doing the things you love!

It’s never too late to get fitter for example and help is at hand to give people in Lincolnshire that extra bit of support.

Recent research, carried out by University College London on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, has shown even beginning exercising in your 40s or 50s will help bring benefits, including protecting your heart.

It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise either - just doing the gardening or taking a brisk walk can help.

City of Lincoln Council’s Healthy Lifestyles Team offer advice and support on all aspects contributing to a healthy lifestyle to help improve quality of life for those living in the city.

Team leader Joanna Blackwell explains: “This study backs up what we’ve been trying to promote and achieve with residents through our various programmes. We want to encourage more people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Even a small change can make a massive difference.

“This research shows the positive impact of starting to exercise at any stage of your life. It’s really never too late to start.”

Robert Middleton, aged 58, from North Hykeham, was referred by his physiotherapist to the Physical Activity Referral Programme this year following an operation on his knee. He attended Birchwood Leisure Centre and after his twelve weeks on referral stayed and has now been there eight months.

He says: “During this time the staff have been friendly and approachable. Nothing has been too much trouble. My programme had to be adjusted on a regular basis due to my knee; again it was no problem for the staff to sort out. I would definitely recommend this programme to anyone.”

The team also run City Walks every week. These are guided, social walks suitable for all ages and abilities, starting from one mile up to five or more. Health Trainers also work with people to help them set goals and work towards positive lifestyle changes.

In addition, the council runs a Family Fitness Fun programme aimed at helping children aged eight or older get fit and stay healthy. The 12 week course covers physical activity, healthy eating and mental wellbeing.

For more information about Healthy Lifestyles services contact the team on 01522 873581, healthylifestyles@lincoln.gov.uk or visit www.lincoln.gov.uk.

The University College London study followed 4,000 people over ten years. Those who did the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise each week had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. High levels have been linked to increased heart risk.

People who consistently stuck to the recommended amount of exercise for the whole ten year period had the lowest inflammatory levels overall. Those who only started doing the recommended amount in their late 40s also saw an improvement and lower levels of inflammation than those who said they didn’t do any exercise.

Indulge your creative side!

One sure way to make old age a joy is to embrace your artistic or creative side. Joining a club or society in particular can do wonders for your mind, after all it isn’t just your body you have to take care of. Being around people who can advise on projects or other ways to give you focus can be fantastic.

We were recently impressed with a visit to Lindsey Art Association at one of their meetings at New Waltham Village Hall. Having been around for more than five years, the whole hall was teeming with talent. Crafters and painters alike were busy getting on with individual projects.

Indeed Pamela Doore of the LAA explained: “We have around fifty people per session, but around 100 members. Even though most of the people here are older, we are open to everyone but not everyone can make our sessions in the day.

“It’s something a lot of people get into when they retire and coming here means that people can get inspiration from subjects we might cover and each other.”

The group holds regular demonstrations from visiting painters and artists and often organises days out to paint in a new location.

Talking to the artists dotted around there’s a whole range of expertise on show, but it’s the sense of community that impresses the most. The company, the support in the work you might be carrying out and the social side seem to be what draws people there. Art can be therapeutic as well as rewarding, so why not give it a go?

Worried? Fret not

Being worried about the future of course can be stressful, but there’s plenty of help out there. Allianz Global Assistance and Yecco recently investigated investigate attitudes towards caring for an aging population and found some interesting results. The survey found that people were most concerned about:

• Balancing work and home pressures the biggest concern for those who would have to provide care for an elderly relative (26%)

• Financial implications of caring for an elderly relative the second biggest concern (20%)

• 58% of people surveyed hadn’t talked to their immediate family members about what they would do in the event of an elderly relative needing care

• Only 15% of people would turn to extended family members for help in caring for a relative

• 48% of people expressed an interest in receiving an Elderly Emergency Care policy as an employee benefit

As a new report by think tank IPPR reveals that the number of older people needing care is expected to outstrip the number of family members able to provide that care by 2017, Allianz Global Assistance in the UK reports that 52% of people it surveyed are concerned about the future care needs of elderly parents or extended family, should they need home assistance.

The biggest single concern for people surveyed is the prospect of balancing work and home pressures whilst providing care for elderly parents (26%). This was followed closely by the financial implications of caring for an elderly relative (20%) and a fear of having little or no support from local authorities (16%). A higher percentage of men than women were worried about balancing work and home life and the cost of care.

Planning ahead is key to reducing the logistical and financial pressures of providing care. 58% of those surveyed hadn’t talked with their immediate family members about what they would do in the event of needing to provide care for an elderly relative. This is key in making sure any concerns are allayed far before the issue actually crops up.

Old age need not be a lonely and worrisome time. It’s all about a positive mental attitude. Remembering the phrase ‘you’re never too old to learn’ seems a wise thing to do, even if you feel like your body can’t keep up!


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