Let’s raise a cup to Leeds Hydration Week

George enjoys a cup of tea

George enjoys a cup of tea

As usual talking about the weather seems to be a hot topic at the moment and at the slightest hint of sunshine we worry about sun tans and the appropriate SPF factor cream – but is that the only health issue to worry about when the summer finally arrives?  Warmer weather increases water loss, and dehydration affects us all regardless of age but older people and anyone dependent on others for help in getting fluids especially are at a greater risk from dehydration.  This week, 22- 26 June, is Leeds Hydration Week.

Richard Porter, Health Improvement Specialist (Older People) and Chair of the Older People Matters Food Group tells us more about keeping properly hydrated.   Continue reading

Posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, Carers, Choice, Community Meals, Health and Wellbeing, Independence, Information, Nutrition, older people | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spooky spies and social work

Some might think this is the most tenuous link to have ever found itself on the Better Lives blog, but I have form in linking TV shows to social care (see the Coronation Street one). I mean spies of the MI5 kind and social work. “Really?” I hear you cry, but there is a link. Two in fact and, as my last ever Adult Social Care blog, I’d like to share them with you if you don’t mind…

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Posted in Achievement, Carers, Choice, Information, Learning disablity, Mental Health, older people, Physical disability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hollybush Project – helping people have happy, healthy and fulfilling lives

Photograph of the Hollybush Project building and gardens.

The Hollybush Project – environmental activities helping people
have happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

I recently visited the Hollybush Project, based at the Hollybush Conservation Centre. As some of you may be unaware of what goes on there, let me fill you in.

Hollybush is part of The Conservation Volunteers, a charity working to create a more sustainable future by encouraging people to get involved in reclaiming and maintaining local green places, as well as taking responsibility for their own local environments. The Hollybush Project, which has been running for over 10 years, provides a really wide range of practical environmental activities which make a big difference to people who are vulnerable members of our community, including those living with mental health issues, learning disabilities and sensory impairments.

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Posted in Charity, Health and Wellbeing, Independence, Information, Learning disablity, Physical disability, volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leeds puts best foot forward for Learning Disability Week

A group of walkers from last year's walk

A group of walkers from last year’s walk

Learning Disability Week is a week of national campaigning and raising awareness. Once again in Leeds a group of dedicated walkers will put their best foot forward to march on and raise money to improve the lives of people living almost 6,000 miles away in Africa.

This year’s walk takes place on 16th June 2015 around Swinsty Reservoir. The walk is approximately 3 miles long and should take between 2-3 hours to complete.

Africa’s Gift supports largely rural communities in southern Africa and Uganda, working closely with community members to bring about change They design projects that inspire people to work together, making a real difference to people’s lives and giving everyone involved a sense of having achieved something worthwhile.  Continue reading

Posted in Achievement, Autism, Charity, Information, Learning disablity, Mental Health, Safeguarding, volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Carers Week – It’s time to celebrate caring

Carers Week 2015Carers Week, Monday 8 to Sunday 14 June, celebrates and recognises the amazing work of all of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers. The UK-wide annual awareness campaign aims to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for – giving them just a little bit of the recognition they richly deserve. There are 72,000 unpaid carers in Leeds, but how many of them know they are a carer? And if they don’t know they are one, how do they know that there’s support out there for when perhaps they need a little help too.

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Delivering successful change


Penultimate Deputy Blog – Spring/Summer 2015

After a little while away I thought the time had come to start to conclude the Deputy Blog series.

As I’ve said previously, change is something that affects us all: sometimes a bit, sometimes a lot. Sometimes changes are reasonably well spread out; sometimes they happen simultaneously. For me the last 12 months have seen an awful lot of changes, many of which I’ve reflected in previous posts, but in the last few months we’ve seen more developments that will certainly shape the future of social care in the coming years. Continue reading

Posted in Achievement, Integration, Legislation, Transforming care services, Working together | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t let it be a cough that carries you off. Got a cough, get a check!

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We’ve all had those coughs that just won’t go away, you think you’ve got rid of it and then something sets you off and you’re hacking away, getting hot with your face turning red.  How long do you put up with it before getting help?

Lung cancer is one of the UK’s biggest killers and also has one of the lowest survival rates. In Leeds around 500 people per year are diagnosed with lung cancer, which can be treated successfully if diagnosed early.  That’s why it’s important to get a check to rule out cancer or other serious diseases.  Well, if you are over 50 you can go to a walk-in clinic for a free chest x-ray.  We spoke to Jackie and Noleen to find out what inspired them to get a check. Continue reading

Posted in Carers, Health and Wellbeing, Information, older people, Public Health | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment