Why spend­ing a penny need not cost the earth!

Midweek Visiter - - News -

AS we get older the ques­tion of how long we can go be­fore we need to spend a penny be­comes more im­por­tant. The NHS es­ti­mates that between three and six mil­lion peo­ple in the UK have some de­gree of uri­nary in­con­ti­nence.

Al­though the ma­jor­ity of older peo­ple are able to man­age their con­ti­nence well, uri­nary in­con­ti­nence af­fects more than a quar­ter of older peo­ple.

Uri­nary in­con­ti­nence has both phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences, in­clud­ing dam­age to skin, uri­nary tract in­fec­tions, an in­creased risk of falls, avoid­ance of go­ing far from home, and a feel­ing of alien­ation.

Any­one who is hav­ing prob­lems with this is­sue should there­fore en­sure that they con­tact their GP in the first in­stance.

It is im­por­tant not to be em­bar­rassed to seek help, just re­mem­ber it is a very com­mon prob­lem,

What we do know is that as a re­sult of public sec­tor aus­ter­ity mea­sures, the lo­cal coun­cil has strug­gled to keep public toi­let fa­cil­i­ties open.

If there aren’t toi­lets eas­ily avail­able, many older peo­ple will refuse to come out, so this is a con­sid­er­able prob­lem.

The Sefton Part­ner­ship for Older Cit­i­zens (SPOC) de­cided that a prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion would be to ask lo­cal com­mu­nity build­ings if they would be happy to let older peo­ple use their toi­let fa­cil­i­ties even if they were not a pay­ing cus­tomer.

The re­sponse was over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive and SPOC are de­lighted with this com­mu­nity as­set ap­proach to solv­ing an on­go­ing prob­lem.

This is a list of the or­gan­i­sa­tions who to date have said that they are happy to help:

The Atkin­son, Dunes Leisure Cen­tre, South­port Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Christchurch. Ains­dale Lunch and Leisure Formby Pools – you do not need to be a mem­ber or at­tend­ing a class

The Feelgood Fac­tory and the NAC Boo­tle Leisure Cen­tre, The Strand by Me Com­mu­nity Shop. Crosby Li­brary – you do not need to have a li­brary ticket. CLAC and Crosby Pools are also happy to help. The Mead­ows Cen­tre are happy for peo­ple to come in to user their toi­lets.

If any other com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties or re­tail out­lets would be will­ing to let older peo­ple use their fa­cil­i­ties re­gard­less of whether they are a cus­tomer or not, just let Jus­tine of SPOC know on 01704 538411 and she will up­date the list and pub­li­cise your or­gan­i­sa­tion.

May I also draw your at­ten­tion to the need to get reg­u­lar eye tests from an op­ti­cian whether or not you wear glasses.

The Mac­u­lar So­ci­ety told us that 60% of older peo­ple in Mersey­side do not go for reg­u­lar eye tests.

It is only by vis­it­ing the op­ti­cian for an an­nual check up, that con­di­tions such as mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion can be de­tected and treated, as in­di­vid­u­als might not de­tect the prob­lem them­selves un­til the con­di­tion is quite far ad­vanced which can be dan­ger­ous for your sight.

Eye checks can also de­tect other health prob­lems that can go un­no­ticed, so do get an an­nual check even if you think your vi­sion is fine.

We all need to make ‘that trip’ at a cer­tain age...

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