Jul 18th

Keep Cool and Carry On!

By Mary B

This comes from Kent, but is relevant to us all

When it’s safe to be cool

While many of us will simply be pleased that the long, wet winter is far behind us, it is important to be prepared for sustained hot weather.

Heatwave Alerts, such as the one in place at the moment – known as a level 2 – are triggered as soon as the Met Office forecasts a 60 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have significant effect on health. This will normally happen two or three days before a heatwave is expected to occur. As most heat-related deaths occur in the first two days, this is an important stage at which to make sure people are ready – and swift action can be taken to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

Health and social care workers have already identified the people they care for who are most at risk and made plans to protect them if the heatwave happens. Now that a heatwave is forecast staff will be checking on vulnerable people, and making sure steps are taken to protect them.

Just as important is making sure that you and your friends and neighbours are ready and equipped for a heatwave; check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves and make sure they have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications they need.

Graham Gibbens, KCC Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “When it is hot outside, it is not just about vulnerable people being ready – it is also about families and communities looking out for each other.

“There is lots of good advice out there, and this is a time of year when friends, neighbours and families can make an important difference by rallying round and taking time to care for each other.”

Key advice in hot weather includes:

· Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.

· Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.

· Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.

· Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).

· Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.

· Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.

· Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.

· Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.

· Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.

· Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

Andrew Scott-Clark, interim director of Public Health in Kent, said: “Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it isn't treated it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal.

“If you or anyone else feels unwell, drink water and go somewhere cool to rest. If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, it is important to seek medical help.”

May 15th


By phillip J W

For those of us who rely on multi-drug prescriptions we have the weekly chore of countiong out the assorted capsuals & tablets into each little box for that day of the week.
Simple enough I s'pose; 
But then we have people like me who are not THE very best at housekeeping & long term stock takers!

With us we have the problem of discovering we have run out of a particular tablet.
Then if the surgery is like mine Thursday is half day
...I need some capsuals for tonight &
...I have to wait in this morning for a parcel to be delivered!

The question stands - will I be able to get out today in time to sprint round & get my prescription writen before 1pm?

                                                 ...Don't miss the next exiting instalment! 

May 11th

Sponsored Walk 11 May 2014

By Christine B
This morning, I completed my first sponsored walk since my schooldays!  Note to self - do more of them!!

I walked with 3 of my friends and their family, whilst my husband helped out at the registration desk.

The weather was, well, not the best - it was very, very windy, and it made hard going on the way to the 2 1/2 mile checkpoint.  Not made any better by the fact that although the walk was nice by Brighton seafront, the sand was whipping up in your face - good job I didn't have any sarnies with me!  At least the rain held off!

However, I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, and would do it again in a "heartbeat".  I finished the 5 miles in 1hr 35 minutes (or thereabouts), and so far have raised £265 in sponsorship for the Sussex Heart Charity, who have been invaluable to me in my recovery from my heart attack.

My new blue shoes were fabulous and no blisters or anything - I feel great.

Thanks for listening everyone.

Chris B
Apr 14th

Talking of health matters....

By phillip J W
Can anyone cast a valied eye over rhat sercomsstance creates Night Mares?
I have had three during the past 7 days & have no rased temperature - or any reason for this that I can think of.
I would be most gratefull for a profesional or knowledgable responce. 
Apr 10th

Whose Health is it Anyway?

By Mary B
Whose Health is it Anyway?

Helping the NHS understand and act on what really matters to patients and carers Calling all patients and carers of patients with long-term conditions.

Your views matter - what help do you need to manage and make decisions about your health and wellbeing? What helps you feel in control of your own care and what gets in the way?

An exciting project funded by NHS England is taking place across the South of England, working with patients and carers to understand, from their own perspective, what is important to them in managing their health and care better.

Hastings Voluntary Action/Voluntary Action South West Surrey/Living Options Devon is supporting this work by working with local patients to capture their views through face to face meetings (co-design sessions) and by circulating this online survey to capture your views.

The aim of the project is to gain feedback from as many patients and carers as possible and your views will help us understand and act on what really matters to you. You will be helping to ensure that the voices of patients and carers are at the centre of decision making about future commissioning priorities.

To start the discussion, we would be grateful if you could please take a few minutes to complete a short survey via this link.

Thank you!
Apr 7th

Kent launches 24/7 dementia helpline

By Mary B

Is dementia something which affects you or your  family? Do you have any questions or concerns  and would like to talk to someone?


0800 500 3014

Information and support for people with

dementia and their carers

Please call - we are here to help

Registered Charity No 1024385

Alzheimer’s & Dementia

S U P P O R T S E R V I C E S  


0800 500 3014

Calls between the hours of 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday are taken by qualified staff that can:

 Source and phone / e-mail back relevant information

 Discuss any concerns

 Signpost to relevant services offering local support

 Listen and offer confidential emotional support

Outside of these hours callers will be offered emotional support and information only. During this time the service is anonymous.

You can also e-mail your questions to:


E-mail enquiries are answered within 24 hours on weekdays

We understand the difficulties you may be experiencing and never judge.

*Calls to 0800 numbers are free from a landline. Calls from mobiles will vary, please refer to your network operator for charges


24  Hour  Kent

Mar 29th


By Chrystie M
I  have had a dreadful year so far. So perhaps this might cheer you and make you think how well you are!!
Just after Chistmas I went down with what I would think was cystitis.  Finally I dragged myself to the doctor and she said that I had thrush, and gave me a prescription for its treatment.  Nothing worked, and every time I rang the surgery to say that my thrush was still there, someone would send me different tablets.  However eventually it was decided that it was cystitis.  Then just two tablets and it had gone.
However, amost sraight after that I was leaning over and my back went.  That was about 5 weeks ago and the pain is more and more dreadful.  Rubs don't work. Paracetamol did help.  The nights are hell, as every move is agony  The pain seems to go across my back from side to side.  I always hope things will get better on their own, but I did go to a physiotherapist who gave me exercises for weak muscles in my back.  Maybe.
Then I finally went to the doctor who said it wasn't a slipped disc. and that part of  spine is fusing together.  Nothing to do, apart from taking pain killers.  And that's that.For the rest of my life.
Because  all this I had, and still have, ulcers on my tongue. The dentist sent me to a Consultant in the hospital who said that they were just ulcers, nothing wrong.
Perhaps I am run down.
I used to have a blue card when I was caring for my husband who had had a stoke, but later on they took it away saying I was not bad enough to have one.  I am now hoping they will give me one this time.I can't hold even a bottle of milk.  I spent the whole morning, printing a photo, scanning bills, and my driving licence.  Huge form to fill in.  Wish me well.
Mar 9th

Pass The Banana

By Mary B
Pass The Banana A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression 'going bananas' is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on: Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!! This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again. Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. Anemia : High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia. Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert. Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system. Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief. Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness. Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation. Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system. Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady. Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach. Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. InThailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood Enhancer tryptophan. Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack. Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%! Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape! So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe it's time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!' PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!
Feb 26th

The Shared Lives Service - Kent

By Mary B

The Shared Lives Service is run by Kent County Council.

Shared Lives hosts open their homes to look after vulnerable adults, including people living with dementia and provide valuable support for that person and their family carer.

We need motivated people who are committed to supporting others and willing to train as Shared Lives hosts to provide day support, short breaks or longer term placements in their own home.

To find out more about working from home as a self-employed, paid, approved Shared Lives host and how to apply please telephone 01233 652401 for an informal chat or email us at sharedlives@kent.gov.uk .
Or for further information about the service please visit our website: www.kent.gov.uk/sharedlives.

Léonie Harrington
Community Engagement Officer - Tunbridge Wells
Communications & Engagement
Room G37, Sessions House, Maidstone
Internal: (7000) 4691
External: 01622 694691


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