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Christmas is coming up and plenty of people are all rushing out to buy advent calendars - but this year why not make something a little bit more special for your kids? Here are a few ideas!

Dementia Awareness Week 2015 takes place between 17-23 May 2015.    The Dementia Friends programme from the Alzheimer’s Society has already achieved great success with over 1 million Dementia Friends signed up since launch. The purpose of the initiative is to change people’s perceptions of dementia by encouraging them to learn more about dementia and small ways we can all help, becoming a Dementia Friend and turning  understanding into action.   Find out how to become a Dementia Friend here: www.dementiafriends.org.uk     The Alzheimer’s Society believe that life doesn..
A new downloadable guide from Caring Homes explains the latest changes from the Care Act; these changes came into affect at the start of April. The outline of the Care Act highlights what people with different levels of capital can expect in terms of financial assistance. It is no secret that nearly 96% of people over the age of 65 have made no financial provisions for future residential or nursing care. Given that the process can often be tough to come to terms with, Caring Homes have a provided an easy to read guide on how the latest Care Act and its changes could affect you. Clic..
On Easter Monday the biggest shake up to pensions in a generation takes effect with those aged 55 or over granted new “pension freedoms”. For the first time pension savers will be able to take up to 100% of their pension as cash enabling them to spend their retirement funds as they wish. More choice means that pensioners will be able to make financial decisions more suited to their particular needs. On the other hand costly mistakes may be made resulting in a lifetime of savings gone for good. And of course there is the siren call of the Lamborghini purchase... More..
March is Free Wills Month where a group of charities offers individuals and couples aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple wills written or updated by a participating solicitor. Appointments are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis. To find out more and make an appointment with a participating solicitor near you go to the free wills website:     The charities supporting Free Wills Month work for a variety of causes. There is no obligation to leave a gift to one of the Free Wills Month charities but as most UK charities de..
Today the BBC launched an online guide to the care system for the over -65s. The BBC’s care calculator takes into consideration the different systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as the systems have diverged since devolution. Further changes are planned for England in April 2016 and the other nations are also making changes. Users enter their postcode to find out the cost of care in their area. The purpose of the guide is to help individuals and their carers understand more about how the care system works where they live, what they need to consider an..
Sir Muir Gray, former chief of knowledge for the NHS, has shared his extensive knowledge from 40 years as a doctor in public health and written a book on keeping fit to live a full and independent life in your seventies and beyond. His view is that age is just a number and that most of the limitations that older people experience are not caused by ageing itself — but by the way people choose to live their lives as they grow old. Image courtesy of Bloomsbury Books.   Extracts from his book adapted by Corinna Honan are being serialised in the Daily Mail this we..
A recent article in the Observer  late last year was written by the novelist Nicci Gerrard about her father who had recently died and his stay in hospital earlier in the year. Nicci described how her father, a doctor, who suffered from dementia, had entered hospital in February as “strong, mobile, healthy, continent, reasonably articulate, cheerful and able to lead a fulfilled daily life with my mother”; he left 5 weeks later “skeletal, incontinent, immobile, incoherent, bewildered, quite lost” and in need of 24 hour care. She does not blame the hospital sta..
#GivingTuesday started in the United States in 2012 as an antidote to the start of the festive shopping season, which kicks off with the Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday shopping online. It is a global social media campaign that has designated 2 December as the day we celebrate and encourage giving in all its forms. It has quickly taken hold across the world with Canada, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Latin America and Israel now all taking part. #GivingTuesday aims to bring together people, companies large and small and charities to celebrate and encourage acts of kindness -..
Research has shown that older people who use the internet regularly are healthier because they are better informed about medical issues. According to the research by University Collage London silver surfers have better “health literacy” which means they have the skills both to understand and make use of basic health services and information. Researcher Lindsay Kobayashi of UCL whose research looked at almost 4,500 adults in England aged 52 and older over 5 years said: “Internet use and engagement in various social activities, in particular cultural activit..
The Silver Line free 24 hour phone line was set up to support older people one year ago today and in its first year has been inundated with calls, taking 275,000 to November 2014 and 200,000 more than anticipated when the service was launched. The helpline not only provides a helpline to signpost older people to existing services that can help them, it also provides a means of communication for older people in danger (it has been described as a Childline for older people) and a friendship service to combat loneliness. The charity has found loneliness is the single biggest problem th..
We had our first real frost of the year today which always looks so pretty but means that first dog walk of the day is much, much colder and I need to wrap up warm, so it’s time for the bobble hat. I work from home so I am very aware of how cold it is now indoors. It is relatively easy for me to stay warm, I have turned on the heating and dug out my winter woollies but for the elderly the cold weather leaves them vulnerable as their bodies respond differently. Age UK has lots of advice available on keeping warm on its website with factsheets available to download for friends a..
BBC’s Newsbeat reports how Centenarian Ruby Holt took a trip to the seaside to see the ocean for the first time in her life. Her trip, just weeks before her 101st birthday, shows it is never too late for the experience of a lifetime. Ruby travelled 400 miles (the equivalent distance from London to Glasgow) from her home state of Tennessee to the seashore in Alabama. It was only the second trip she has taken out of state in her lifetime. The trip was instigated by two employees at the assisted living centre where Ruby lives who filled out an application to the US charity W..
In the Sunday Times Home section on 16/11/2014 Cally Law outlined simple steps to help people living with dementia in their daily lives. The article focused on practical changes to the home as remaining at home for as long as possible is usually the preferred option. However many of the ideas can be implemented wherever that home may be and include both low and high tech innovations. The article highlighted improvements in lighting, the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living areas as well as assistive technology where changes can be made to help make life easier, safer and more enjoyable..
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