Dance On – keeping older people in Leeds moving and grooving through lockdown

For many people across Leeds, finding fun and interesting ways to stay active at home has been a challenge in the past few months, one that remains important even now as lockdown measures begin to ease. For the more vulnerable in our communities, finding ways to stay active and keep fit inside their own homes has been vital to both their physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.

Get Set Leeds has shared some great ways for older people to stay active in recent months, including inventive ways those that are shielding have kept moving, but for us, none are as fun or freeing as dance!

We spoke to Julia from Yorkshire Dance about how they have taken their popular Dance On classes online to keep older people moving, smiling and connected during lockdown.

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Posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, Age Proud, COVID-19, digital, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Information, Mental Health, Neighbourhood Networks, older people, Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Developing peer support opportunities across Leeds and supporting groups to adapt to Covid-19 challenges

The Breathe Easy group staying safe during the pandemic

As defined by Mind, peer support is all about people using their own experiences to help each other. While peer support activities can differ vastly, whether in terms of what brings members together, the format of the sessions or the size of the groups, they all focus on providing a space for people to support one another.

In recent years, the formation of the Leeds Peer Support Network has helped such groups to be developed across the city, and in recent months, they have been able to support sessions to continue in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A year on from her first blog post, we caught up with Stacey Taylor, peer support coordinator for Leeds City Council, to hear more about what has been happening in the world of Leeds peer support over the last twelve months.

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Posted in 100% Digital Leeds, Age Friendly, Age Proud, Breathe Easy, COVID-19, digital, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Independence, Information, Mental Health, Neighbourhood Networks, NHS, older people, Peer support | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Better Conversations – supporting health and care staff digitally to work with the people of Leeds

A key part of the city’s Better Lives Strategy, supporting adult social care staff to have better conversations has been helping people in Leeds live independently for longer by identifying solutions that work for them.

With many people across Leeds having to either isolate themselves or support those isolating for their own health during the pandemic, being a city capable of having these kind, collaborative conversations has arguably never been more important.

We spoke to the Better Conversations team to hear about how they have adapted to the challenges posed by coronavirus to continue supporting health and care staff to work with the people of Leeds.

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Posted in adult social care, Age Friendly, Age Proud, Better Conversations, Better Lives, COVID-19, digital, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Independence, Information, NHS, older people, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leeds Pathfinder – using tech in innovative ways to support people living with dementia

Dennis, a dementia carer, enjoying what his iPad has to offer

Last year, Leeds Libraries, through the 100% Digital Leeds programme, successfully bid to run a Pathfinder project as part of the NHS Widening Digital Participation programme.

The focus of the Pathfinder was on trialling new ways to use digital and connectivity to support people living with dementia, as well as their families and carers.

Sara Liles, Digital Inclusion Support Officer for 100% Digital Leeds, shares with us the story of the Leeds Dementia Pathfinder and the innovative ways it leveraged tech to support those with dementia.

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Posted in 100% Digital Leeds, adult social care, Age Friendly, Age Proud, Carers, Dementia, digital, Health and Wellbeing, Independence, NHS, older people, Social Isolation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Virtual Death Cafés – bringing people across Leeds together to talk about death and loss during lockdown

We have talked about Death Cafés before on this blog, hearing the first-hand experiences of someone who helped out at one of the sessions (and, of course, about the tea and cake on offer).

However, with the coronavirus pandemic postponing a number of upcoming Death Café events in the city, what has happened to that opportunity for the people of Leeds to come together to discuss death.

We spoke to the Leeds Bereavement Forum about taking their Death Cafés online and how running one via Zoom works ahead of next week’s event.

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Posted in Age Friendly, Age Proud, Awareness, Better Lives, COVID-19, Death Cafe, digital, Dying Matters, Health and Wellbeing, Information, Mental Health, older people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s make caring visible in Leeds this Carers Week

Carers Week is an annual event that raises awareness for caring, shining a light on the challenges faced by unpaid carers and recognising the work they do.

With the theme of ‘Making Caring Visible’, this year’s event looks to highlight the difficulties faced by those taking on extra caring responsibilities as part of the coronavirus outbreak and ensure they have the information, advice and support they need.

We spoke to Val Hewison, the chief executive at Carers Leeds, about caring during lockdown and how her team has adapted to continue supporting carers across the city.

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Posted in adult social care, Assisted Living, Carers, Carers Week, COVID-19, digital, Dignity in care, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, home care, Independence, Information, older people, Public Health, volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragments: helping to bring art to care homes in Leeds

Credit: Lizzie Combes

Fragments is a collaboration between three friends who make art for people who find it difficult to go to theatres, art galleries and other cultural spaces.

Just before lockdown started, they completed their first project, creating an immersive pop-up park inside Oak Tree Lodge care home in Leeds.

We’ve been speaking to Anna Turzynski, one of the founding members of Fragments, to find out more about this installation and what the future holds for this innovative, multi-sensory project.

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Posted in adult social care, Age Friendly, Age Proud, Art, Carers, community spirit, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Mental Health, older people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mick Ward reflects after four decades working to support adult social care across Leeds

After four decades working in adult social care for Leeds City Council, Mick Ward (Chief Officer for Transformation and Innovation within Adults and Health) is sadly retiring.

Starting out as a care assistant in 1978, Mick has worked his way up to help lead and develop the council’s approach to providing adult social care and improved health and wellbeing across the city.

With his planned retirement event postponed, we wanted to bring the thank you’s and stories of his retirement speech to you in an extra special blog post. Take it away Mick!

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Posted in Achievement, adult social care, Carers, COVID-19, Dignity in care, Health and Wellbeing, Independence, NHS, older people, Physical disability, Public Health, Transforming care services, Working together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How the Leeds Neighbourhood Networks are supporting older people during the COVID-19 crisis

Middleton Elderly Aid at work

A feature of Leeds since 1985, the Neighbourhood Networks are locally-led groups that do amazing work to support the health and wellbeing of older people across the city. Working within communities to meet local needs, these organisations offer services, activities and sessions that older people want.

While the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has prevented older people from accessing these services in traditional ways, the hard work of the networks has not stopped.

Ali Kaye, Third Sector Development Manager for Leeds Older People’s Forum, tells us more about how the networks have responded and adapted rapidly to supporting older people during the crisis.

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Posted in Age Friendly, Age Proud, community spirit, COVID-19, digital, Health and Wellbeing, healthy lifestyle, Independence, Mental Health, Neighbourhood Networks, neighbours, older people, Social Isolation, Working together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrate Fostering Fortnight with Foster4Leeds

As Fostering Fortnight (11-24 May 2020) draws to close, we hope you have been able to join Foster4Leeds in celebrating the fortnight digitally with foster carers across the city and those who help support foster families. If you can offer a young person in Leeds a safe, secure home, Foster4Leeds needs you!

Here’s is one of the city’s amazing foster carers talking about their experience of going to a Foster4Leeds recruitment information session.

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Posted in Children, community spirit, COVID-19, Foster Carer, Foster4Leeds, Fostering, Fostering Fortnight, Information | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment