£60 Government Allowance
This information was in last months newsletter,
but on enquiry I found there is a telephone number to call
if you have not received this one of payment which
was tacked on to the end of the £10 Winter fuel allowance
in 2008 by the end of March 2009.
Enquiry to the Department of Works and Pensions
informed me that this money has been, and will be, paid out
over a period which will complete at the end of this March.
For any pensioner who is due this payment,
and who has not received same by that time, then I would advise
that you contact the DWP on: 0845 6060 265.
Also, if you know of some elderly person
who lives beside you who for various reasons might not be
aware if they have received this payment or not then you could
remind them and give them this telephone number.
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Top ten tips on Keeping Healthy [Help
Thanks to decades of biomedical research, there are
some clear pointers as to how to stay fit and well throughout
later life. Our chances of ageing successfully are affected
most by lifestyle. So here are ten tips for improving
your lifestyle and ageing more healthily.
Take more exercise. Studies have shown that
'exercise deficiency syndrome' is the biggest risk we face
as we get older. Regular exercise not only makes us feel fitter,
more alert and younger, it also helps to prevent high blood
pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor circulation, depression,
obesity, joint and bone problems - in fact a very long list
of the ailments of later life!
Give up smoking. It's the biggest single
risk to your health after inactivity. Smokers have shorter
lives due to lung cancer, cancer of the bladder, mouth and
other organs, heart disease, bronchitis, asthma and other
And it's not just lungs and hearts that
are at risk - smoking will also slow down your rate of healing.
That's bad news if you need an operation or injure yourself.
It is by no means easy to give up smoking,
but doing so gives immediate benefits, no matter how old you
are or how long you have been a smoker (benefits only really
seen after two years abstinence). Call the NHS smoking helpline
on 0800 169 0169 for help and advice.
Keep socially and mentally active.
Having a strong network of family and friends and a range
of activities is vital to your health, and the best remedy
we have for some of the mental problems of older age is to
keep on challenging the grey matter.
Research shows that our cognitive functions
can be kept agile by doing regular mental gymnastics. Crosswords
and puzzles are excellent mental gyms, as are discussion groups
and many kinds of voluntary work. Brain power can last as
long as we do, but appears to work best when it's stretched.
Drink more water. Many
of us are slightly dehydrated. This interferes with digestion
(leading to constipation) and other processes, and it fogs
up the brain.
Drink a variety of drinks to keep your
water intake up (you can't beat water itself!). Alcohol and
caffeine are diuretics so they increase the amount of water
that you excrete - however you still take in more liquid than
you lose from a cup of tea, coffee or a cola-type soft drink.
Get outdoors as often as possible.
For exercise and because exposure to light - especially sunshine
- is vital for our body clocks and vitamin D levels. Lack
of vitamin D makes development of the bone disease osteoporosis
more likely. Getting outdoors is important for social reasons
too - it keeps us in touch with the world.
Eat a good, balanced diet.
This is vital to good health. Our food does not just provide
the energy we need for daily living, it also provides the
raw materials for healthy cell turnover and fuels our natural
Fruit and vegetables are nature's anti-ageing
remedy, protecting us from many of the diseases we associate
with later life. We can't stress how vital this is.
Being overweight will seriously reduce
the chances of a healthy older age as there is a greater risk
of heart disease, stroke, arthritis and diabetes. If you have
a weight problem, talk to your doctor about ways to tackle
If you drink alcohol
- little and often will do you the most good! People who regularly
drink small amounts of alcohol tend to live longer than people
who don't drink at all. Alcohol helps prevent coronary heart
disease in people who are at a stage of life when coronary
heart disease is a risk. For men this is over the age of 40
and for women it's after the menopause. The health benefits
come from regularly drinking small amounts; the maximum benefit
is achieved by drinking between one and two units of alcohol
Make your home safe.
There is no point in living a healthy lifestyle if you're
surrounded by risks like loose rugs and dodgy wiring. Clear
your home of things that can trip you up. Increase the level
of lighting everywhere (you should have 400 watts in every
room) - especially on the stairs - so you can see properly.
Always get gas and electric appliances installed or checked
by a qualified person.
See your GP when you are not
well. Don't put up with health problems on the grounds
of 'age' or assume that older age means nothing can be done.
Age is no more the 'cause' of illness than youth is the cause
of, say, chickenpox. Don't be fobbed off with a second-rate
service either - we are entitled to good healthcare at any
age, including a second opinion. Doctors are not magicians
but they can cure or alleviate most things. See your dentist
and optician regularly too.
Be positive. This gives
us a rosier view of life, and boosts our immune system as
well. Every day, spend 20 minutes focused on a really uplifting
thought or memory - you will feel better and your immune system
will get a boost. Be positive about your wants and needs too
- studies show that longevity appears to be linked to a determination
to stay in control.
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