Council Tax Reductions for People Living with Dementia

The ‘severely mentally impaired’ (SMI) council tax discount is a reduction off a household’s council tax bill, worth at least 25%, and in some cases up to 100%. The payments can be backdated, as well as receiving future discounts. SMI is a medical diagnosis, but the underlying cause could be a condition such as dementia (or Alzheimer’s), Parkinson’s, severe learning difficulties or having had a stroke. It will depend on each individual case and simply having been diagnosed as SMI doesn’t automatically mean they qualify for the discount. A doctor must also certify they are severely mentally impaired. GPs are…

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Banking Hubs

Although not the same as having a branch of your bank service nearby, Banking Hubs make it easier to do your banking face to face, whoever your bank. Located in communities across the UK, some are operated by Post Office and some by Cash Access UK, both in partnership with major high street providers. The Hubs offer a counter service, where customers of any bank can carry out regular banking transactions such as pay in cash and cheques, withdraw cash, check your balance, pay utility bills, or top up gas or electricity. There are also private spaces where customers can…

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Number of People Aged 100+ Hits Record High

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported a record high of 13,924 centenarians living in England and Wales in 2021. There were 11,288 female and 2,636 males, according to official 2021 census data published in September 2023. In 1921, life expectancy was about 68 years for women and 61 years for men, but it now stands closer to 91 and 88 years respectively. In the UK, there are 31 centenarians for every 100,000 people, according to ONS analysis of UN population data. By comparison, there are 106 per 100,000 in Japan (considered the oldest nation in the world), 42…

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Do Not Attempt CPR Decisions

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation known as CPR, is a treatment administered during a medical emergency, when you stop breathing (respiratory arrest) or your heart stops beating (cardiac arrest). Some people do not make a full recovery after having CPR, depending on their health or condition, and this is why they may choose not to receive CPR or treatments that may cause suffering at the end of life. DNACPR stands for Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. DNACPR means if your heart or breathing stops your healthcare team will not try to restart it. DNACPR is sometimes called DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation) or…

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Older People’s Forums 2023 Tackling Isolation & Loneliness

Over the past 6 months, I have been speaking to many older people about lloneliness, isolation, and lack of connection. Most of us have noticed a decline in civility and basic manners, but everyone is now concerned with the lack of human interaction. It’s not just services that are now only online, but the increase of over the phone or internet contact, self-serve checkouts, and fewer chances to have contact with others. Lack of transport and pathway infrastructure, children moving far away for work, and a world that has become all but virtual, have led to isolation and spawned the…

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Cash is here to stay!

UK Government commits to protecting UK’s Coins & Notes for years to come.  Technology has transformed banking for millions of people, making it easier and quicker to carry out financial transactions and pay for services. But it’s also clear that many people still rely on cash and should have a choice over how they spend their money. It is estimated that around 2.2 million people in the UK are still reliant on cash, with older people, the vulnerable and people in rural communities likely to be hardest hit by a decline in the use of cash. To make sure cash…

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What’s the buzz at the Forums?

The poor state of public transport was widely discussed. Whilst electric vehicles are being hailed as the great solution to our environmental concerns, it seems providing efficient public transport, that would reduce the need for so many cars, is still being neglected. “Think about young people who get a job and then can’t get there because the bus line’s gone.” Infrequency, lines being cancelled, or routes being changed, and leaving some villages with no transport at all – are just some of the things mentioned. “They said the line was cancelled because they did a survey on one day, with…

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ASSISTED BIN and RECYCLING COLLECTIONS

The council can arrange an assisted collection for residents who have difficulty in moving their containers and bins to the kerbside on collection day. The collection crews will get your recycling and waste containers from a place on your property which has been agreed with you and put them back there once emptied. The crews will not go inside your home, and they will not sort your recycling items for you. You can apply for assisted collections if you are physically unable to move your bins, and you: have nobody (a relative, friend, neighbour, or carer) who can help take your bins to…

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How to Get a Copy of Your Medical Records

Everyone in the UK has a legal right to see their own medical or health records under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Under GDPR accessing your medical records is free, and you do not have to pay anything. You do not have to explain why you want to see them, and you can nominate someone else, for example a solicitor, to view your records, provided they have written consent. Your request could be refused if a health professional believes seeing the records would be seriously harmful to your physical or mental health. Your medical records include any information about…

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Supermarket ‘Slow Checkout’ for People Who Enjoy a Chat

While most buyers seem to be in a rush these days at grocery stores, there are many who prefer taking their time, and enjoy a chat during the checkout process, and this isn’t just limited to older people. Hastiness is particularly evident these days with ‘scan your own’ hand machines, self-serve tills, and having your groceries thrown at you at great speed by the staff. But one supermarket chain in the Netherlands has decided to slow things down, especially for those who like socialising and chatting in queues. Back in 2019, the Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo Supermarkets, introduced its first…

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