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Care Homes – keeping in touch with loved ones

Care home lockdown: how are you keeping in touch with your loved one?

People are telling us they are worried about care homes continuing to be closed to nearly all visits.

They understand it is safer for residents and staff and the extra efforts made to maintain the quality of life in the homes, but after six months, people say they can see the effect on their loved ones, and their own, health and wellbeing.

It seems the situation may go on for some time yet.

Sharing good practice could help make this difficult time a bit better. If your relative, loved one or friend lives in a care home we would like to know what is being done to keep you in touch day to day and on special occasions like birthdays.

We would like to know your experience of:

  • Using video calls (FaceTime, Zoom etc.) or telephone calls – does the home support these? How many times a week and how long? Does a member of staff help your loved one with the call?
  • Socially distanced visits – does the home support ‘window’ visits.  How many times a week and how for long?
  • How does the home keep you informed about how your loved one is getting on (apart from necessary issues about their care or health), for example, manager updates, photographs, videos
  • Does the home have a programme of group and one-to-one activities? Has your loved one taken part?
  • Has the home asked you what, within the current restrictions, would make this time easier?
  • What, within the current restrictions, would make it better for you and your love one?
  • When restrictions are eventually eased (not totally lifted) what would help you and your loved one?

You can tell us your experiences at one of the ways here on our contact page, text us  on 07413 385275 to make an appointment to speak to one of our team, or come along to our public online forum  around these issues on Wednesday 11 November, 2.00pm – 3.00pm.

 

Older People

A Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing

NHS England, in partnership with Age UK, Public Health England, and the Chief Fire Officer’s Association and older people themselves, has published a Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing.

The guide helps people to stay physically and mentally well by providing hints and tips on how to keep fit and independent. It recognises, as we all should, that there is always something we can do to improve our health and wellbeing. For older people who may be starting to find things more difficult to do, it is particularly important to take active steps to slow down or reverse some of the health challenges we are all likely to face.

To help people understand their potential risk of living with frailty, the guide includes a simple, walking speed test. Taking more than five seconds to cover a distance of four metres is highly indicative of frailty, with the proviso that there is no obvious alternative reason for walking slowly such as a previous stroke or knee/hip arthritis. This is not meant to be a diagnosis, but it can provide a good indication that someone should consider making changes to their daily lives so that they can better manage their frailty or reduce the chance of it becoming more serious.

Download the Guide

Watering can and daffodils

Stepping into Spring Roadshows

Stepping into Spring is a series of roadshows from Ageing Well in Northumberland. These are free events for older people in Northumberland and are a chance to talk to local organisations offering advice and information on staying well and keeping active. Call in for a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat about local events and activities, volunteering opportunities and keeping fit and healthy.

 

The Roadshows are happening at the following locations:

  • Ponteland, Merton Hall: Thursday 21 March, 9.00am – 12.00pm
  • Prudhoe, Waterworld: Monday 25 March, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Haltwhistle, Methodist Hall: Tuesday 2 April, 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Hexham, Wentworth Leisure Centre: Friday 12 April, 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Morpeth, Town Hall: Wednesday 1 May, 10.00am – 2.00pm
  • Blyth, Leisure Centre: tbc
  • Ashington, Leisure Centre: tbc

 

For more details about individual events please visit our events page

 

 

 

Images of groups chatting and being active

Berwick Social Fridays

Friendship – Laughter – Happy Memories – Social Fridays!

Get that Friday feeling every Friday at this free, friendly social group from Age UK Northumberland at The Swan Centre, Berwick.

Berwick Social Fridays follow on from the success of the sessions at The Round House and Azure Garden Centre.

Sessions take place on Friday mornings between 10.00am and 12.00pm and you can get as involved as much as you like or simply have a cup of tea and a chat.

Activities include:

  • Board games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Music
  • Trips out
  • Lunches and events
  • Visits from local groups
  • Information and advice

For further information about start dates call: 01670 784 800 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/northumberland

 

Person potting plants and watering can

Elderberries Clinic Cafe Programme

The Elderberries Community Programme aims to enrich the lives of people over 55 years in the Alnwick area.  As well as weekly exercise, activity, gardening and social sessions, the Clinic Cafe takes place on the second Tuesday of the month, 2.00pm – 3.30pm in the Stuart Hall Elderberries Room. The Clinic Cafe holds a variety of talks and consultations on health and lifestyle issues. Here’s what’s happening over the next few months:

 

Tuesday 13 February

Action for Hearing Loss – confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss

Tuesday 13 March

Macmillan Cancer Advocacy Project

Tuesday 10 April

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

 

For more information please contact Tracy Jones on: 01665 511256 or email: tracy.jones@alnwickgarden.com

 

 

Front cover The Golden Guide 2018

The Golden Guide 2018

The Golden Guide Northumberland 2018 – Out Now

The new The Golden Guide for Northumberland is out now. This free guide lists local activities, clubs and social networks for older people and is also full of information for finding expert help with health, care, community and money issues.

Explore the great outdoors with walking, wildlife and gardening groups, take up woodwork, singing, sport or make extra cash by starting a business, as many over 50s now do. The guide also has more on befriending schemes, dementia and mental health support, and contacts for tracing lost money, or help claiming your pension or other entitlements.

Look out for the feature on ‘How to Retire in Northumberland’. If you’re about to retire or already have, you can find helpful hints about making the most of it, from planning your finances to enjoying your extra free time.

Copies are available from us here at Healthwatch Northumberland, Age UK Northumberland, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Voluntary Service, GP surgeries, libraries, Alzheimer’s Society, Citizens Advice Bureau, British Red Cross and selected Boots UK pharmacies across the county.

 

 

Postal copy

If you can’t get out, or can’t find a copy ring us on 03332 408468 or contact Age UK Northumberland on 01670 784821 and you can be sent one in the post for free.

 

Online

The full edition is online at www.goldenguide.org.uk

For all enquiries please  Heather Alabaster on: 0191 386 5918, or email heather@goldenguide.org.uk

Social Fridays from Age UK Northumberland

Age UK Northumberland is hosting a new social group for the over 50s at its Ashington premises. Have a cuppa and a chat, meet the staff and make new friends in a relaxed setting.

There will be free tea and coffee, board games, information and advice service, regular competitions, taster sessions, technology tips, local information and more. Everyone is welcome.

Two course lunch offer: £3.50 in the cafe.

Sessions are start on Friday 16th June and are from 12.00pm until 1.00pm and staff will be on hand to answer questions about benefits, housing, social activities, volunteering and more.

For more information call: 01670 784800
Email: info@ageuk-northumberland.org.uk
The Roundhouse, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9JZ

Age UK Northumberland

Events

Prudhoe Older Person’s Information Day

Find out what’s going on in the local area for older people at this event from Prudhoe Community Partnership. There will be advice and information, health checks and a refreshments on offer.

Organisations attending the event include Carers Northumberland, U3A, Tynedale Talking News, Silver Talk, Age UK, library Services, Community Buddies, Northumbria Police and Digital Champions.

Ponteland Winter Warmer

Join local support groups and organisations for a cuppa and a chat at the first Ageing Well in Northumberland Winter Warmer. Find out more about staying active, safe and well, plus advice on the health and social support available for older people at this free event.

Connaught Opera at Alnwick Garden

Connaught Opera is once again putting on free performances for over 55s across the country and will be returning to Alnwick this month. The show is Victorian Vignettes to celebrate the reign of Queen Victoria. Tea and coffee will be provided. If you would like to book a place please call 01665 511356.

 

 

Summer flowers

Ageing Well Summer Roadshow

This summer roadshow is a great way to find out more about staying active, staying involved and staying well. You can also find out about local activities and volunteering opportunities near you.

For more information contact Karen Cox on: 01670 858688 or email: karen.cox@northumberlandcva.org.uk.

Ageing Well in Northumberland

Ageing Well Conference 2019

The Ageing Well Conference is a celebration of a year in the life of Ageing Well in Northumberland. There will be lots of interactive workshops for you to get involved with, a marketplace showcasing information from a wide range of organisations and charities supporting older people locally, plus the Extra Smiles Awards! Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

 

If you would like to apply for a place, please complete the form below by 31 March and send to: lorraine.henderson2@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk. For more information please call: 01670 629135.

Booking Form

gloved hands cupping a warm drink

Winter Warmer Event – Haltwhistle

The annual Winter Warmer events from Ageing Well in Northumberland provide information on how to stay safe and well this winter, with organisations present from your local community.  The events are free and friendly – come along for a cuppa and a chat.

If you would like any more information about this event, please contact Ellen Walton on: ellenwalton@haltwhistle.org.

 

 

gloved hands cupping a warm drink

Winter Warmer Event – Ponteland

The annual Winter Warmer events from Ageing Well in Northumberland provide information on how to stay safe and well this winter, with organisations present from your local community.  The events are free and friendly – come along for a cuppa and a chat.

If you would like any more information about this event, please contact Veronica Jones on: veronicajones@northumberland.gov.uk.

 

 

gloved hands cupping a warm drink

Winter Warmer Event – Ashington

The annual Winter Warmer events from Ageing Well in Northumberland provide information on how to stay safe and well this winter, with organisations present from your local community.  The events are free and friendly – come along for a cuppa and a chat.

If you would like any more information about this event, please contact Lindsey Humble on: lhumble@activenorthumberland.org.uk.

 

 

gloved hands cupping a warm drink

Winter Warmer Event – Hexham

The annual Winter Warmer events from Ageing Well in Northumberland provide information on how to stay safe and well this winter, with organisations present from your local community.  The events are free and friendly – come along for a cuppa and a chat.

If you would like any more information about this event, please contact Lindy Robertson: lrobertson@activenorthumberland.org.uk.

 

 

gloved hands cupping a warm drink

Winter Warmer Event – Cramlington

The annual Winter Warmer events from Ageing Well in Northumberland provide information on how to stay safe and well this winter, with organisations present from your local community.  The events are free and friendly – come along for a cuppa and a chat.

For more details about this event please contact Amanda Carr on: acarr@activenorthumberland.org.uk.