Support Available In Winchester For Dementia Sufferers

There are currently 800,000 people suffering from Dementia, and it most commonly affect those who are over the age of 65. The main symptoms of Dementia include: confusion, memory loss, and difficulties with thinking, problem solving and language. Dementia can affect anyone at any point in their lives, and there is a high likelihood that you or someone you know is affected by Dementia.

The Dementia Advice Service has recently opened an office in Winchester. They offer a wide range of services to help support those experiencing Dementia, and these include: dealing with questions that you may have regarding the subject, identifying what information you need and how to find it, provide tailored information for you, informing you of local services, and supporting you to make plans for the future.

The Alzheimer’s Society also offers a wide range of services in the Winchester area. The services on offer include: activity clubs, support groups, Dementia information drop-ins, musical activities, outings, support and outreach lunch clubs and an outreach services. These services are on offer to help to provide support to those who are affected by Dementia within the local community.

Andover Mind has also reached an agreement with Solent Mind to run a well-being centre in Winchester. This centre is based on Parchment Street, and provides a wide range of support and advice to those who are affected by Dementia. This includes activities: creative writing, career building, , healthy eating, art and self-help groups. Solent Mind also offers Dementia reablement, to assist those who have experience deterioration in health. This is because they may need to relearn the skills essential to keep them safe and independent at home.

The Dementia reablement provided by Solent Mind concentrates primarily on restoring the individual’s ability to function independently as opposed to treating the health-related problems directly. This project also aims to raise awareness about Dementia, through the use of services within the local community aiming to create more Dementia-friendly communities. This is done through supporting relatives, carers and hospital staff to make sure that individuals are being treated well enough during any hospital stays, and by making sure that any individuals referred to Solent Mind are visited daily by a member of staff who will spend plenty of time with them during their stay. They will be able to listen and provided any additional support that is needed to make sure that your voice is heard, promote an understanding of the individual’s needs, and upon hospital discharge they can also make sure that you are referred to Dementia and home support services that are appropriate for you.

There is a wide variety of support options available for those who are affected by Dementia in any way. These services can be beneficial to both the person suffering from Dementia, and anyone who is providing support to them.

Is Gynaecological Cancer On The Rise?

Bethel House in Barton on Sea organised a tea party for The Eve Appeal which was held on 20th March as part of the charity’s Make Time for Tea campaign. This was organised to celebrate Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and help to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

The Eve Appeal was set up in 2005 , with the main aim of raising money to fund research into Gynaecological Cancers in hopes of finding a cure. Since the charity was founded there have been major breakthroughs in improving survival rates for those suffering from Gynaecological Cancers. The other aim of The Eve Appeal is to promote awareness of Gynaecological Cancers.

The Make Time for Tea campaign has been set up for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, which took place in March to help raise extra funds for the charity. The Make Time for Tea campaign encourages you to raise money for The Eve Appeal and have fun whilst doing it. By organising a tea party with friends, work colleagues or in your local community you can raise awareness and make money for funding the research of Gynaecological Cancers

Gynaecological Cancers include: Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Vaginal Cancer, Vulval Cancer, and Uterine or Endometrial Cancer. In the UK Ovarian Cancer is the 5th most common form of cancer among women and is most common in woman over the age of 40.

Research into Gynaecological Cancers is vital, at present women who present with stage 1 or 2 Ovarian Cancer have a 90% chance of survival. However 70% of women are currently presenting at stage 3 or 4 of Ovarian Cancer, and the survival rate at this point dramatically drops to 30%. This is because Ovarian Cancer can be a very aggressive disease, and despite intensive efforts to improve treatment mortality rates are still quite high because symptoms are difficult to identify

The Wessex Cancer Trust has a cancer support service based in the Winchester area. The Winchester Cancer Support Centre is based on St Georges Street and is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 – 16:00 the centre offers a wide range of services including: reflexology, aromatherapy and massage. The Wessex Cancer Trust can help with all aspects of daily life for someone who is suffering from Cancer. They also offer counselling and complementary therapies including services such as: befriending, counselling, and Reiki.

There is a wide variety of support available for those who are suffering from Cancer. For example Hampshire Hospitals provide a variety of services including: outpatient clinics, supportive treatments and counselling sessions. They also have a mobile chemotherapy unit which services: Andover, Alton, Eastleigh and Tadley. This allows people to have easy access to treatment, whilst reducing travel costs and stress to an ill and vulnerable people.

Service To Support Local Community At Home

In Winchester its has been agreed that Avalon House on Chesil Street will be repurposed and used by the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. This organisation provides health services to the community, and this includes health visitors and district nurses. However the main purpose of the Avalon House building is yet to be decided.

Although the repurposing of this building has had the full backing of the councillors, some members of the general public have raised some concerns. For example some of the local residents feel that they may experience some disruptions may be experienced as a result of taxi’s pulling up and waiting for people. A councillor has also raised the point that the building is in a conservative area, and the NHS may put up a variety of signs which could lead to potential problems.

The Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provide a wide variety of services including: Mental Health services, community health services, learning disability services, and Social care services. They can provide care and support within the community that will help you to maintain good health and well-being. This can be done by providing you with community nurses or support. There are a wide range of services that are run within in the community, and these include: health and well-being services, mental health services, community dentistry, and minor injury units.

The Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s main aim is to ensure that the general populations health and wellbeing are as good as they can possibly be. This is why they run a number of services targeted specifically for maintaining good health and well-being. These services include: stopping smoking services, advice on alcohol and drug abuse, older people’s health services (including falls advice), and Dental Health services.

These services can be particularly beneficial to older people because they may not be able to get out and about as easily as others within the local community. This is because it can help them to get the help and support that they need to maintain good health and wellbeing, and to potentially maintain some level of independence for longer.

Age UK also offer information and advice services to assist those who are over the age of 55 with a variety of different areas of daily living, including: pensions, family and personal matters, aids and adaptations, and housing and property. These services allow you to gain valuable advice on how to manage and understand a variety of factors and decisions from daily life.

The Royal Voluntary Service also offer a wide range of services to help keep older people active within the community for longer. Their services range from befriending services to visiting people in hospital.

Day Centres And Clubs To Help Elderly To Stay Independent

In Bishops Waltham a new Age Concern building is being built. This will not only create new local jobs but it will also help to provide somewhere for elderly people to go and socialise with one and other.

This is because half of the building will serve as a day centre, providing a place to meet with other people in similar situations to themselves, and receive the support that they need. The centre will also offer Dementia services.

The other half of the building will serve as a wellbeing centre. The wellbeing centre is designed for providing services, information and assistance. This would be staffed by trained customer advisors that will have a wide range of knowledge, and have access to a wide variety of information surrounding all aspects of daily living for the elderly.

There are a number of benefits that this new building will have on the local community. For example it will give elderly people the opportunity to get out and socialise with others, which is something that they may not have had the opportunity to do previously.

There are also a wide variety of other services available for the elderly. For example Brendoncare offer a variety of clubs within the local community. At the cost of £1 you can visit one of their drop in clubs, which give you the opportunity to meet and get to know new people within your local community. Companions clubs offer a wide range of activities such as: quizzes, kurling and tea and coffee mornings. This club costs £2.50 to attend. Brendoncare also offers an activity club which features an organised activity. These activities can range from interesting speakers, and music sessions, to going out on outings. Refreshments are provided at this club, and the cost to attend is £4.

Age UK also offers a befriending service, and this is where a volunteer can visit you at home. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people, broadening interests and it also gives those who are unable to get out and about very often the opportunity to experience the outside world. This can be extremely beneficial as it can help to boost confidence and self-esteem, and it may also help people to stay independent and at home for longer.

Lunch Clubs are also held by Age UK, and there are a number of locations for this club in the Winchester area including: St Barnabas Church in Weeke, The Baptist Hall on Swan Lane, The Salvation Army Hall on Parchment Street and the Winnall Community Centre. The lunch club costs £3.50 and you get a cup of coffee and a warm two course meal. This provides you with the opportunity to get out and socialise with others, whilst receiving a warm cooked meal, which some individuals may struggle to do themselves at home.

Exercise Classes To Boost Elderly Fitness

Winchester has recently started to offer two new exercise classes for the elderly. The Exercise Plus sessions are being run by the Winchester Live At Home Scheme. The new sessions will be held at the Weeke and Colden Common Community Centres.

The Weeke class takes place every Thursday, at 11:00 and lasts for an hour, and the Colden Common sessions are every Saturday at 11:00. You can visit either of these locations on their allotted day and time, and try the first class for free to discover if it is right for you.

There are also a number of other locations that offer this class. The United Church on Jewry Street, on Tuesdays at 10:30. Makins Court in Alresford and St Mark’s Church Hall in Oliver’s Battery also have Exercise Plus classes that run on a Tuesday at 2:30. This gives everyone living in the Winchester area the opportunity to take up an exercise class if they are interested.

The sessions are run by qualified instructors and are designed to help you to improve balance, posture and strength. This can have a number of benefits for older individuals including: maintaining independence, improving overall well-being, and reducing isolation.

If you or someone you know may be interested in joining one of these classes, you can contact the Winchester Live At Home Scheme on 01962 890 995 or email office@wlahs.org

There are a number of other classes and activities that are available in the Winchester area for elderly individuals. The Winchester Live At Home Scheme offers a wide variety of clubs and activities for individuals and these include: a walking group, a seated exercise group and a lunch club. All of the groups and activities available can be extremely beneficial as they give everyone the opportunity to get out and socialise with others, as well as maintaining independence, overall health and well-being.

The River Park Leisure Centre in Winchester also offers a Health and Fun Club, designed specifically with the over 50′s in mind. There are a variety of activities to try and enjoy including: Tai Chi, Tennis, Yoga and Keep Fit classes. These activities can all help to improve strength and overall well-being, which in turn can help you to stay at home, and live independently.

New Energy Fitness in Winchester also offers a wide range of classes to cater for a variety of needs. They hold two senior conditioning classes, which are aimed at improving the fitness and well-being of those over 60. The Seniors Strength, Agility and Flexibility Classes run on a Tuesday from 2:30 – 3:15, and is aimed at helping to improve the strength around joints, whilst improving agility and flexibility. The Seniors Flexibility and Balance Class runs on a Friday from 10:00 – 10:45. This class aims at improving overall fitness, and allowing you to become more mobile in daily life. Both of these sessions are £8 a class.

Participating in exercise classes can have a number of benefits to your overall health and well-being. They can leave you feeling more energised and confident, meaning you may feel better able to deal with day to day activities. Exercise classes will allow you to socialise with others in similar situations to yourself and create new friendships, which in turn will lead to a happier and healthier you.

Walking Your Way To Better Health

With the start of 2014 many people’s attentions are turned to New Year’s Resolutions, and the one at the top of many list being to get fit and healthier. This however can be a difficult goal to achieve for some, particularly those who are older, or have a health condition that can make it difficult to get out and about.
What Can You Do To Get Fitter And Healthier?

Getting fitter and healthier doesn’t have to mean spending hours of your time working out at a gym. This is an activity that isn’t for everyone, and there are plenty of easier ways of getting healthier.

In Winchester The National ‘Walking for Health’ Scheme has been put into place. This scheme provides those within the local community with the opportunity to participate in a number of health walks.
The scheme currently runs seven local health walks a week led by trained walkers, and are free and open to all. They are designed specifically for those who are suffering from a long term health condition and those who are currently inactive to help them to get out and about.

There are a number of benefits to participating in a health walk, for example they are social events within the local community which means that they give you the opportunity to socialise and create new friendships, whilst exploring the local area and building up your fitness.
Other Ways Of Getting Fitter And Healthier

There are a number of easy ways to improve fitness and overall health that can be accessed by anyone in the local community. For example in Winchester the River Park Leisure Centre offer a wide range of activities for the 50+ to help everyone to stay active for longer. These activities include: Badminton, Swimming, Yoga, Tai Chi, Tennis and Keep Fit classes. Which all can have a number of benefits to your daily life and overall health and well-being.

For members only River Park Leisure Centre also Offers the Winchester Fitness And Sports Club which is designed specifically to provide those who are over 50 with the opportunity to participate in a number of different activities to maintain fitness levels. These activities include: Aquacise, Bowls, Pilates, and Racket Ball.

Staying Active

Staying active can have a number of health benefits, and can leave you with more energy and able to do more things independently. This is particularly beneficial as we age as it means that we are able to stay independent for much longer, reducing the need for additional support, and increases the chances of staying at home for much longer.

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What support is available for Dementia sufferers and their family members?

There are currently 670,000 people suffering from Dementia in the UK and it is estimated that by 2021 over a million people will be diagnosed with the condition. With the disease becoming even more prevalent, what support is available to those dealing with the difficult symptoms associated with Dementia?

Day centres and activities:

In some communities day centres may be available for individuals suffering from Dementia. Day centres offer therapeutic activities that may help tackle the symptoms of the disease, which can have an extremely positive impact on the individual’s general health and well-being. From arts and crafts, musical activities, gardening, baking and activities based on the individuals’ lives (e.g. story work), day centres provide a much needed break for both the sufferer and the caregiver. The Alzheimer’s Society runs the Winchester Dementia Cafe, which provides a social activity to support people with dementia in the local area, providing an opportunity for sufferers and caregivers to meet and talk to other people in a similar situation.

Support for the individual at home:

Dealing with Dementia can make day-to-day activities increasingly difficult, but with the right help and support it is possible for an individual suffering with the disease to continue living at home for longer. Homecare is particularly beneficial as it gives the individual a sense of familiarity, which can make them feel more comfortable. A care worker would be able to visit the sufferer at home and provide a variety of support including medication management, meal preparation, domestic duties and personal care. They may also be able to provide support in the form of companionship, helping the individual take a break from home and enjoy their much-loved activities.

Residential care for the individual:

When the symptoms of Dementia develop, residential care can provide crucial support to both the individual and family during this difficult time. Although this may be a hard decision to make, the 24 hour support will help take the weight off family members shoulders, knowing their loved one is in safe hands, receiving the support they need. St Catherine’s View is a unique dementia care home in Winchester, which has been specially designed to suit the care needs of residents with conditions like Dementia.

Support for the caregiver:

Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, but it also involves dealing with stressful situations, changes in family dynamics, extra workloads and financial pressures, which can sometimes become overwhelming. Respite is the main type of support that is available for a caregiver helping an individual suffering from conditions like Dementia. Respite is available on a 24 hour basis to ensure individuals are receiving the support they need and can vary from a few hours to a few weeks. In Hampshire and other parts of the UK a Take A Break service is offered by the local authority. This service works by providing replacement care whilst the caregiver is away. During this time, they can also complete other tasks including domestic duties, meal preparation, and personal care.

Steps To Manage Hearing Loss

Of the various types of hearing loss, few affect the more venerable members of society as age related hearing loss does. It is widely reported (source: Action On Hearing Loss 2005 survey) that 1 in 9 UK residents display signs of hearing loss, the largest number of which are in the over 65s. Although impaired hearing may be naturally expected as the body matures it is unwise to leave the hearing loss unmanaged.

Living in a muted world can lead to significantly reduced quality of life, social isolation and can have an impact on the progression of dementia. The older population and those who care for the elderly should be aware of the signs of hearing loss and be encouraged to take action to mitigate any effects.

The extent of age-related hearing loss varies from person to person. One individual may have mild hearing loss, and adequately manage the effect by making minor changes, such as ensuring they always face people who are speaking and ask for repetition when needed. More commonly however, the extent of the hearing loss would be best managed by a healthcare provider and some form of additional amplification.

A crucial function of our hearing sense is performed by microscopic structures called hair cells. These delicate structures are found within the cochlea of the inner ear and are central to transmitting information contained within incoming sound. From the hair cells, information travels on via the auditory nerve to the auditory cortex within the brain for ‘translation’. When hair cells die or are damaged, the ability to capture and transmit sound information is impaired permanently, as these hair cells cannot regenerate. Damage to the hair cells can occur by other means, such as prolonged exposure to harmful noise levels (noise induced hearing loss), but age-related deterioration is most common.

Signs of Age Related Hearing Loss Include:

• Sounds and especially speed is muffled
• Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowded place
• Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
• Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio to a degree where others complain
• Withdrawal from conversations and avoidance of social settings

Individuals or caregivers should take action to manage hearing loss at the earliest opportunity. Many people wait for years before investigating their options. The first step is to undergo a hearing test. The actual test, which is often performed free of charge at a local hearing centre, takes a few minutes to complete. The degree of hearing loss, per ear, can be established and thereafter a number of solutions can be discussed.

Some people may be concerned that they will need to suddenly learn sign language in order to communicate, but that is far from what happens in practice to manage age-related hearing loss. There are plenty of technological aids that can be used in most daily stations to amplify external sound. Most versatile and popular are personal hearing aids that use digital processing power to help compensate for the impaired auditory system. Hearing aids are available from your local hearing centre, online and free from the NHS (limited model range and waiting list may apply in the case of the NHS). There are also other readily available solutions for the hard of hearing such as extra loud phones, extra loud and often flashing alarm clocks, specific products for amplifying the television and so on.

With such as wide range of amplified products available, there is no reason to have to simply accept hearing loss as something you are powerless to do anything about. Talk to your GP or visit a local hearing centre at your earliest opportunity.

Article written by Joan McKechnie BSc Hons Audiology & Speech Pathology. Joan consults for Hearing Direct.

Improved Bus Travel For Visually Impaired

A new system is being implemented on Bluestar and Unilink buses in the Southampton and Winchester area, to make it easier for those who are visually impaired to access services when travelling. This could be particularly beneficial to those who are new to the Winchester and Southampton area.

What is it?

The new system that is being put into place is an automated audio announcement that is designed to alert visually impaired individuals of upcoming stops. It uses GPS satellite navigation, and this identifies the buses location, so that a voice file can be activated, to alert visually impaired passenger that the bus is approaching a particular stop.

New features have also been added to the Bluestar and Unilink websites in order to make them more accessible to the visually impaired. The new “Speak me” (look for the words in the top right corner of the sites) feature gives people the opportunity to have the text read out in any language to them. The websites have also been made more accessible by giving anyone the opportunity to change the size of the text and the colour of the background, so that it is clearer and easier to read.

How Can it Help?

Buses and other forms of public transport can be vital in enabling people who are visually impaired to live more independent lives. The main benefit of audio announcements on buses is it allows people who have visual impairment to use public transport without worrying that they will miss their stop.

It can be extremely difficult for those who are visually impaired to get out and about, and this new system could make it much easier for them. These new systems being put into place could be particularly beneficial for those who are visually impaired, and this is because it can provide them with the opportunity to access more within the community, as travelling could become much easier.

These new systems could also be beneficial because they may help to boost an individual’s confidence in accessing the community independently. This is because those with a visual impairment may have issues with their confidence, particularly if they are new to an area, as they may struggle to get out and about. This system will also help to reduce the stresses that can be associated with travelling.

This system has been implemented by a number of different bus companies across the United Kingdom, along with a wide variety of other systems and devices to help those who are visually impaired to cope with a wide variety of tasks and activities associated with daily living. The main aim of this system being to make all forms of public transport much more accessible to those suffering from visual impairment or other disability.

Are Neurological Conditions Becoming More Prevalent In The Elderly?

In the UK at present there are approximately 10 million individuals suffering from a neurological condition that have a significant impact on daily living. Although neurological conditions can affect any individual at any point in their lives it has been found that these conditions are more prevalent in the elderly and this may be the result of a number of different factors including environmental factors and genetics.

In America it is estimated that one in four adults suffer from mental illness, and 6% of those individuals suffer debilitating effects as a result. In America there many other neurological conditions that are prevalent such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

These neurological disorders can have a significant impact on an elderly individuals daily life. The main issue that affects an elderly individual is memory disorders; these are often the result of conditions such as: Dementia, Motor Neurone Disease, and Parkinson’s.

Dementia

Dementia is one of the most common neurological conditions to affect the elderly population. In the UK there is currently over 800,000 individuals suffering from Dementia, and approximately a third of those individuals are aged 95 or over.

Dementia is a condition that causes an ongoing decline of the brain and in an individual’s abilities, resulting in them experiencing problems with: thinking speed, memory, language understanding and judgement. This in turn can cause an individual to encounter a number of difficulties with daily living, and this is largely because it can make tasks much more challenging as the ability to remember and concentrate is greatly reduced.

At present there is no cure for Dementia, however for milder cases of Dementia there are medications that have been shown to be effective in relieving some of the symptoms. For example Antipsychotics could be used on a short term basis to treat individuals suffering with Dementia who display aggressive behaviour, or those who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. However medications may not be effective for all individuals who are diagnosed with Dementia.

Parkinson’s

It is estimated that 1 in every 500 individuals are suffering from Parkinson’s in the UK, and most of those who are diagnosed with the condition are aged 50 or over.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition, that is caused by a lack of Dopamine as a result of the death of a number of nerve cells in the brain.

There are a number of symptoms that could indicate that an individual is suffering from Parkinson’s, and these include: tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, pain and tiredness. It is difficult to diagnose Parkinson’s , and this is largely because the only way Parkinson’s can be diagnosed is through a specialist examining the individual for any physical signs of Parkinson’s, and taking a detail history of any symptoms that the individual may be experiencing.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, however there are medications available that may help an individual to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s

Motor Neurone Disease

It is estimated that 2 in every 100,000 people are diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in the UK each year. Generally Motor Neurone Disease affects individuals over the age of 40, and is most common in individuals between the ages of 50 and 70.

Motor Neurone Disease is a rare condition that causes parts of the nervous system to become damaged, which in turn causes progressive weakness and muscle wasting. This condition can have a significant impact on daily living and cause an individual to experience great difficulty in completing a number of activities including: gripping, walking, speaking, swallowing, and breathing. The main symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease include: a weakened grip, shoulder weakness, leg dragging, slurred speech, and a foot drop as a result of ankle weakness. Symptoms generally progress over time, and this may leave an individual unable to move, as well as experiencing great difficulties with communication, swallowing and breathing.

There is currently no cure for Motor Neurone Disease, and the only treatment aims at present are to make the individual feel as comfortable as possible, give the individual the best quality of life possible and to compensate for the progressive loss of body function. For example breathing masks and some medications may help to relieve some symptoms of the condition.

Home Care And Neurological Conditions

The implementation of a Home Care package may be extremely beneficial for an individual who is suffering from a neurological condition, and this is largely because a care worker will be able to support an individual with most areas of daily life including: medication management, personal care, meal preparation, domestic duties and they can also help with supporting an individual with completing activities that they enjoy. For example a care worker may be able to help an individual to get out and partake in social interaction opportunities.