Anne welcomed over 30 members to our meeting and we welcomed two speakers for the afternoon. Anne explained that our first speaker is Sue Gehnich from Buckinghamshire Age UK and Dr Raj Thakkar and Sophia Wilson from the Falls Risk Team, south Buckinghamshire Trust.
Firstly Sue gave us a very good insight into what services Buckinghamshire Age UK were able to give and assist with. They are based in Aylesbury at 145 Meadowcroft,HP19 9HH. (01296 431911). www.ageukbucks.org.uk. They are a local independent charity working throughout our County. They support people to maintain their independence for as long as they wish and make more of later life. They are a first contact for information and advice on a wide range of issues affecting older people, their families and carers.
They are able to give advice and help on eg. Welfare Benefits (to include a welfare benefit check) and can provide regular home visits by volunteers who are able to offer a friendly chat, obtain prescriptions, shopping trips, social outings, and getting to appointments. Loneliness is of course a large part of “getting old” and even a phone call with a listening ear can boost the feeling of isolation. This can be a free service. However, for a commercial charge they are able to introduce clients to a Handyperson Service, Neat Feet, Hairdressing, Computer training, Help in the home, Garden Maintenance and much more.
They have a charity shop in the High Street, Aylesbury (they are not funded and receive no government assistance). Access to a range of services and products which can be tailor made for clients, is available. Sue also brought along many leaflets which were very interesting and useful in explaining the service. She encouraged us to give them a ring if we are in need of assistance or advice.
Our second speaker was in relation to our risk of falls in later life. Dr Raj Thakkar from the South Bucks Hospital Trust along with Sophia Wilson gave us a “whistle stop” tour !
Raj explained that 50% of falls can be avoided and with 30% of those over 65 falling at least once a year ! He explained that we should take a look at our environment and ourselves as we have many hazards which can be removed and thus avoid accidents. (Loose rugs/mats, worn door mats, slippers worn and a bad fit, bed covers around the bottom of bed – the list is endless). Our life style may need to change and there are many things we can do to avoid a fall. He was also concerned as to how to get up from a fall and to keep our muscles strong (exercise) especially our legs. He suggested standing up from a chair without “holding on” (practice) – move about more – and think before getting out of bed in a hurry (give ourselves time to raise our blood pressure and concentrate when moving around at night – put the night light on !). We could apply for an alarm button to alert should we fall. Lots of helpful tips ! Don’t take unnecessary risks and whilst we should attempt to keep fit and healthy we should also listen to our bodies !!
We had refreshments and notices and the afternoon was most enjoyable andinformative.