How we can all become superhumans thanks to assistive technology and inclusion

Phonak HA hearing aids

Phonak HA hearing aids

As we follow the exciting Paralympic Games, we’re seeing how assistive technology in the form of specific sport-adapted wheelchairs; balls that bleep; and specially designed prosthetics are helping athletes win medals that rattle .

But you don’t have to be a Rio Paralympics elite athlete to reap the benefit of assistive technology. High-tech and low-tech – assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices are helping millions of ordinary people gain greater independence and enjoy fully-rounded participation in more and more activities.

And at the Inclusion Conference on 27th September in Leeds you can find out more about what is available. Adie Platts, owner of AJP Technologies, gives us a sneak preview of his conference presentation and the workshops he is holding.  Continue reading

Posted in Age Friendly, Assisted Living, Choice, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Information, Intergenerational, older people, Physical disability | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating National Dementia Carers Day


It is estimated that there are 670,000 people caring for someone with dementia in the UK.
Caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges for families and caregivers. Living with dementia requires having the right care, and it’s time to recognise and share what it means to be a carer.

So to celebrate the huge number of informal and family carers who support relatives with dementia every day Sunday 11 September was designated as National Dementia Carers Day.  The day was founded by Dementia UK, the Alzheimers Society and Sweet Tree Home Care Services.

Helen Bladon, Carers Leeds, tells us why it’s as important to support those who care for as well as those who live with dementia every day.

Continue reading

Posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, Dementia, Dignity in care, Information, older people, Working together | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How can we connect, communicate and care on World Suicide Prevention Day 2016?


‘Connect, communicate, care’ is the theme of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10th September.

The World Health Organization estimates over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, and men accounted for 75% of the 6,122 suicides reported in 2014, according to the latest available figures. But how does that relate to us, here, in Leeds?

Jon Hindley, Public Health Specialist tells us about a project, The Male Suicide Insight,  set up to find out why male suicide rates in Leeds 12 were some of the highest in the city*. BARCA, a local third sector organisation took on the work of finding men at risk of suicide, who had attempted suicide or experienced suicidal thoughts to talk to them about the issues and barriers they faced. Continue reading

Posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Independence, older people, Social Isolation, Working together | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Older people in rural Leeds are doing it for themselves


For many people, rural sights, sounds and communities are preferable to an urban lifestyle. Some people love it so much that when they retire they move out into the countryside not entirely aware of what may be ahead of them.

Rural isolation and lack of services are a real problem throughout the UK with post offices, village shops and pubs closing at an alarming rate. These closures tend to hit groups such as the elderly particularly hard and combined with the decline of local transport it is a major issue.

So for the elderly – rural living can prove difficult, whether shopping for food, socialising or getting services such as the GP and can mean social isolation, leading to poor health, loss of independence and lower quality of life.

Becky Bracey, Leeds Community Connect Project Co-ordinator tells us more about her experiences of setting up Swillington and Elmete Elderberries and the difference it has made to older people in the area. Continue reading

Posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, Awareness, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Independence, older people, Social Isolation, Time to Shine | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your chance to get involved in Inclusion Week

Inclusion Week runs from 26 September until 2 October and there will be plenty going on in and around Leeds.

On Tuesday 27th September, Leeds City Council is hosting ‘Innovation through diversity’, a conference to better understand and explore opportunities of being a more culturally diverse city.

From 1 -4.30pm at Leeds Civic Hall, speakers will include Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre & Independent Chair of  Leeds 2023 European Capital of Culture bid, Cllr Alison Lowe, Shaid Mahmood and James Rogers of Leeds City Council and Adie Platts from AJP Technologies.  They will all share examples of innovation through diversity gained from organisations and communities in which they live and work. Continue reading

Posted in Age Friendly, British and Minority Ethnic, Domestic Violence, Health and Wellbeing, Information, Integration, Intergenerational, Learning disablity, LGBT, Mental Health, Migrant, Physical disability, Working together | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Secondhand Stories – “A kind of gift” from a Weekend of Wonder by Time to Shine

Carmel Gorman in the pink top. Linda Marshall in beige top. Malika Booker in the multicoloured top, and the head seen from the side is Amy Luxton

Getting inspiration for Secondhand Stories. Anti-clockwise from front left Carmel Gorman, Linda Marshall, Malika Booker, and Amy Luxton.

What happens when you bring seven older adults, three young writers from the Writing Squad and writer, performer and storyteller Malika Booker together for a Weekend of Wonder at the HEART Centre, Headingley for an intergenerational project?

You get “Secondhand stories: a kind of gift” Steve Dearden, Director, The Writing Squad tells us what happened.  Continue reading

Posted in Age Friendly, Intergenerational, older people, Social Isolation, Time to Shine | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

You’ve got a “Befriender” in me with Otley Action for Older People


Did you know that there was an International Friendship day, dedicated to the bond of friendship and companionship and celebrated on the first Sunday of August every year?  No, I didn’t either.  But it made me think if friendship is valued so highly that there is a day celebrating it what do you do if your friends are no longer there?  If you are separated: by geography or illness or even death?

Loneliness and social isolation are common problems amongst the elderly and this can have a profound effect on many aspects of people’s health and well-being. According to Age UK, over half of those over 75 live alone. Many older people say that the television is their main source of company and around 1 million older people may not speak to anyone for a whole month.

But not everyone is left to fend for themselves, the Otley Action for Older People (OAOP) Befriending Scheme is tackling the problem head on and Nikki Sloper, OAOP Healthy Together Project  Health Impact Worker can’t wait to tell us all about it. Continue reading

Posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, older people, social enterprise, Social Isolation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment