Carers Week 2012

June 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With over six million carers in the UK it is paramount that their tireless work is appreciated and that they are recognised as individuals, which is why I support Carers Week. An annual awareness campaign brought together by a coalition of charities including Age UK, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Carers Trust.

This year’s campaign centres around the theme ‘In sickness and in health’ and hopes to educate carers on looking after their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the loved one who they care for.

Carers Week 2012

Carers Week 18th – 24th June 2012

In a recent study it’s been reported that nearly 40% of carers put their own health in jeopardy because of their caring commitments. Some carers don’t feel that they have the time or support to seek medical attention for themselves, whilst others are so tightly wrapped up in the welfare of their loved one that their personal needs get overlooked.

Government cuts and tightly squeezed local authorities unfortunately mean that many unpaid carers are receiving little help from the state. Sadly more and more carers are being forced to give up work to care full time, subsequently meaning that their lives revolve solely around caring. It comes as little surprise that a majority of health issues affecting carers are due to the heavy strain of being a primary carer.

carers week young carer

Support carers of all ages this Carers Week

As well as encouraging carers to seek the necessary help and advice in all areas of their caring life- health, well-being and financial support- Carers Week also encourages carers to find time for themselves with a host of events been held up and down the country this week.

Events range from workshops in arts and crafts to tai chi and yoga which aim to help carers de-stress. For people who’d prefer a simple chat over a cup of tea and biscuits, social gatherings and coffee mornings are also on the agenda; perfect if you’re looking to make friends with other carers, which can be extremely beneficial if you care full time.

Carers make life so much more fulfilling for elderly, poorly and disabled people, which is why I think Carers Week is a campaign that is worth supporting; visit www.carersweek.org for more information.

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Give Blood- National Blood Week 11th- 17th June 2012

June 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today is World Blood Donor Day and countries across the world are encouraging more people to become blood donors and thanking current donors for their generous blood donations which help save hundreds of lives every day.

Here in the UK ‘give blood’ are hosting National Blood Week from 11th-17th June. During this time a team of donor experts are touring the country in a bid to inspire more people to become donors and advise them on how, when and why becoming a donor is so important.

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Give Blood for National Blood Week

 Blood stocks have to be replenished to ensure that blood banks are supplied with enough blood to help poorly people. The levels and availability of blood types ranges which is why it’s so important to get as many people from all ethnic backgrounds to become donors.

Unfortunately some people won’t be able to donate blood, some medical conditions and prior experience can affect eligibility- check here for more info. And I know that many older donators are upset that they have to stop donating after their 66th birthday; if you’ve given blood for a long time it does become an important part of your life but for a donor’s own health this upper age limit is strictly followed.

This is why it’s important to ensure that younger people become donors. Healthy youngsters are perfect donors as they can regularly give blood and help make a difference. Giving blood can be daunting, especially if you’ve not done it before, but speaking from experience I can assure you that it’s nothing to worry about. 

Rachel Riley giving blood

Countdown’s, Rachel Riley giving blood

Simple ensure you follow the standard guidelines of drinking lots of water, a good night sleep and regular meals prior to giving blood and make sure you rest afterward. Once you’ve perked up you’ll have that feel-good feeling of doing something so positive that you’ll no doubt want to continue donating which is fantastic.

So during National Blood Week visit the give blood website to learn more about how important it is to roll your sleeves up and give blood. Online you can register as a donor and find a local blood donor centre, plus make an appointment to meet an advisor who will explore you eligibility and explain how your blood could help save a life.

National Epilepsy Week 2012

May 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s currently National Epilepsy Week (20th-26th May 2012) and epilepsy organisation, Epilepsy Action, are using this week to raise crucial awareness of the neurological condition which affects over 600,000 people in the UK.

The theme to this year’s awareness week is achievement. Epilepsy Action are calling on epileptics to recall their proudest moments and most significant achievements to prove that epilepsy doesn’t have to stop people enjoying their life just like everybody else.

National epilepsy week

A whole host of epileptics have submitted their stories online. Their personal tales range from youngsters with epilepsy learning to swim, excelling at school and even sky diving! And adults achieving career successes beyond their expectations, having children and been able to take part in sporting activities after seizures, surgery and medication.

Each story is inspiring and it’s great to see a national awareness campaign that has such a positive approach. All too often we are bombarded with facts and figures. Epilepsy Action’s focus on achievements is refreshing and gives a personal touch that’s incredibly engaging.

In addition to promoting stories of personal achievement from ordinary epilepsy sufferers, Epilepsy Action also called on World Champion hurdler, Dai Greene, to recall his experiences of achieving great success whilst living with epilepsy.

epilepsy action

Dai’s story was published in an awareness supplement featured in Monday’s edition of The Guardian, which I’d highly recommend reading as it features a range of issues surrounding epilepsy including effective management of epilepsy in the workplace and in schools- read or download ‘Epilepsy Celebrating Achievement’ here.

Epilepsy is a condition which can affect just about anybody- old people, young people and fit and healthy people. The truth is you probably don’t realise the majority of sufferers have epilepsy which is why epilepsy is a condition that is worth supporting. During National Epilepsy Week why not spare half an hour to check out a local event, make a donation or just get clued up on the facts, it could really make a difference.

Top Tip: Did you know that people suffering from epilepsy can be eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard and save up to 1/3 off rail travel. Visit www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk for more information.

No Smoking Day 2012

March 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Today is No Smoking Day and the British Heart Foundation is encouraging smokers to give up the habit for good.

nosmoking_day_2012I know that giving up smoking is incredibly difficult and often it takes several attempts but it really is worth persisting with as not smoking can dramatically change your life.

For older people quitting smoking can be more of a challenge because it’s a lifetime habit. But older people are likely to see the benefits more than anyone else. As well as endless positives on your health, older people will see a huge improvement in quality of lifestyle.

So if you’re trying to give up smoking for good use the No Smoking Day website as a resource for helpful tips and contact. There are plenty of services available to people looking for help quitting including your local GP.

My top tip is to look realistically at how not smoking can change your life. Work out how much money you’ll save in a month. If you can manage not smoking for this period of time treat yourself to something special or save the money for a special occasion- a holiday, weekend break, new car.  

I’d like to wish everyone the very best of luck quitting and a healthy future!

Hitting the gym aged 55 plus- Gym visits increase with age

March 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In the midst of British Pie Week it’s easy to feel as though you need to get a little more active (just to counteract the goodness of so many pies). Although I’m admittedly not a gym bunny- I would prefer to keep fit in the great outdoors- I feel inspired by new research that has found older gym members visit the gyms more regularly than their younger counterparts.

The research found by Nuffield Health and featured in an article on Age UK’s website, revealed that ‘older members make 20 extra visits on average, on an annual basis’. This surge in activity amongst senior gym goers suggests that not only are they actively maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle but also getting great enjoyment from their gym or fitness centre.

Shifting your mind away from the dreaded thought of heavy gym equipment and fitness fanatics that are 20, 30 or even 40 years your junior can be a little difficult. However, once you’ve got past this milestone gyms really don’t seem too bad.

Fitness classes for older people

Fitness classes for older people are great places to make friends

In fact many gyms including Total Fitness, DW Sport and Nuffield Health & Fitness offer senior membership packages exclusive for members aged 55 or 60 plus. More often than not these gyms also run scheduled fitness classes designed for their older members- toning, aerobics, swimming etc. These classes are made with you in mind, they don’t overstretch your body or stamina levels and are great places to meet people who are a similar age and looking to get fit too.

All in all gyms don’t seem too bad. Although I won’t be giving up walking my dogs, Toffee and Summer, for exercise any time soon I will be considering my local fitness club as an option for the future. I’ve even been told that many gyms have excellent coffee lounges now-a-days, which is an added bonus.  

Do you visit a local gym with a ‘senior’ membership? I’d love to hear more about what you enjoy about the gym and how often you go along. Leave a comment in the box below.

British Heart Foundation Hands-Only CPR featuring Vinnie Jones

January 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The British Heart FoundationWho would have thought that an advert featuring Vinnie Jones and the famous 70’s anthem ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by The Bee Gee’s would have captured news segments and Twitter so fiercely? It would appear that The British Heart Foundation’s new campaign has done just that.

The campaign, which stars former footballer and actor Vinnie Jones, tackles the daunting challenge of resuscitating a person who has stopped breathing by introducing ‘Hands-Only CPR’ a newly adapted approach to traditional CPR.

The campaign uses a cheeky tactic to deliver crucial information of a new and easy method to CPR, which anyone and everyone can carry out to potentially save someone else’s life.

The Hands-Only CPR method is now considered to be the best way for non-medical professionals or those without first aid training to administer CPR, basically removing the ‘kiss of life’ segment to defer people administering the daunting breath of air that is considered largely off putting for many.

Instead of interrupting chest compressions with a breath of air, it is now advised to continuously press the chest, hard and fast at the beat of Stayin’ Alive, which is wonderfully ironic but said to be very effective in helping stimulate the heart after cardiac arrest.

Although it may seem a little cheesy, what with a macho Vinnie Jones, tattooed knuckles and leather clad hit men by his side. I think it’s a brilliantly effective way to remind people that CPR is not as hard as it looks and could really make difference.

Zumbathon with Douglas Macmillan

July 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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douglas mcmillanI’m sure that many of you have heard about the latest fitness craze ‘Zumba’. I’ve not tried it myself but I’ve heard that the classes are tremendous fun, incorporating Latin dance moves with aerobics.

Local charity Douglas Macmillan, who provide care for local people suffering from long term or terminal illnesses, are hosting a Zumbathon event at Staffordshire University on 14th August, which hopes to  raise money and awareness of the charity.

I am sure that many of you are wondering what a Zumbaton is. Don’t worry I asked the same question too. And I’m told that it’s an extended version of a normal Zumba class, with lots of participants getting involved to show what a great way Zumba is to keep fit and have a good time.

If you’d like to get involved you can visit Douglas Mcmillian’s facebook page, website or their Twitter for updates- I’m told that entering is free but a donation would be greatly appreciated. No excuses to not get involved.

Zumba

Here at Bath-Knight keeping fit and feeling healthy is of great importance. I blogged yesterday about feeling great after 50 this is generally due to living a healthy lifestyle. Although I don’t Zumba I do get to walk with my dogs a lot and recently trained for the Edinburgh MoonWalk.

Furthermore at Bath-Knight we’ve enrolled in yoga classes for the whole team to encourage some light exercise during the week. For me yoga is a great way to build strength but as it’s so calming I find it a great way to end a busy day.

How do you stay fit and healthy? I’d love to know what classes are out there, which people enjoy and would recommend.

Feeling fabulous at 50- Yours magazine Invincible Not Invisible

July 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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yours magazineA new study carried out by Yours magazine has revealed that women over the age of 50 are at their happiest.

The ‘Invincible Not Invisible’ campaign interviewed 2,000 women and came out with some fantastic statistics which I am sure all women over 50 will agree with.

Firstly, 92% of women said they were happier than ever before and less than a quarter of the ladies worry about how they look; instead saying that they feel much younger than they actually are.

LYNDA BELLINGHAM

Endorsed by Lynda Bellingham (left), a devotee to the belief that ‘age is just a number’, the survey portrays a great image for ladies who are 50 plus and one which I am quite happy to applaud.

I personally feel great about my age and it’s fantastic to think other women do too. As a mature lady life seems less stressful and more relaxed, which I certainly can’t grumble at.

Now-a-days I get to enjoy my business alongside time with my friends and family. With a great circle of friends to keep my social life lively and a wonderful, growing family who live in some of the most beautiful part of the world, I have a truly fantastic life.

My business here at Bath-Knight allows me to get stuck in to being a business woman, a role which I love. But I am also a Grandparent and enjoying those moments is wonderful. With so much going on around me; business, family, friends and two boisterous dogs, it’s hard not to stay fit and feel healthy. The truth is I feel incredibly content about being over 50 and I hope you do to!

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