Fortune cookies helping elderly with dementia

Fortune Cookies Team

FORTUNE cookies are having a therapeutic effect on those living with dementia in the North East.

Residents at Pelton Grange Care Home, in Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, have been making the popular takeaway biscuits in celebration of the Chinese New Year.

The home’s cooking enthusiasts took over the kitchen to create the cookies using a traditional recipe – before inserting their own handwritten fortunes.

Using their culinary skills has proven beneficial for those with dementia, according to home manager Chris Hogan-Hind.

He said: "We are always looking for activities to get the residents using familiar skills, especially for those living with dementia, as it has a very positive effect on their mood and wellbeing.

Giving a helping hand to the elderly during the festive season

elderly lady with Christmas gift

While there are various positive aspects and associations related to the festive period, Christmastime can also result in loneliness becoming clearer for people to see. The Mental Health Foundation has found that 19.7 per cent of people aged 16 years old and above across the UK showed symptoms of depression or anxiety in 2014, while the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that there were five per cent of adults throughout England alone who reported feeling lonely either ‘often’ or ‘always’ in 2016 to 2017. 

How the elderly can benefit from using technology in relation to health?

Elderly using iPad

In the UK, it’s estimated that around 45 million people use or own a smartphone. With most smartphone owners aged between 14 and 60, a large proportion of the elderly population are left behind when it comes to smart technology. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different ways the over 65’s can embrace smart technology to help their health.

As people get older, it’s inevitable that they have to visit medical professionals more frequently. Due to mobility issues, many elderly people find it challenging to access doctors surgeries and clinics. However, using technology in the form of an app on a smartphone, tablet or device, a feasible solution can be used to significantly aid this habitual problem. 


Representatives from LGBT+ training facility Opening Doors London

Opening Doors London, the largest provider of training and consultancy for health and social care professionals working with older LGBT+ people, has been endorsed by Skills for Care as meeting their national standards for quality learning and development in adult social care.

Training and Consultancy Manager Jim Glennon is delighted with the result, less than a year since the new training offer was developed.

How healthcare professionals can reduce dehydration

Dehydration - a nurse offers an elderly patient some water

There is good evidence that dehydration causes a significant increase in the incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) and other severe infections associated with it. Jennie Wilson, member of the Infection Prevention Society, provides these key facts to help you prevent your patients becoming dehydrated:

1. Keep drinking

Adults need to take in a minimum of 1.5 litres of fluid every day. This is equivalent to at least 8 large cups or mugs of fluid.  Make sure that drinks are offered to patients enough times during the day to enable them to drink this amount of fluids.

2. Older people are more vulnerable to dehydration

New Local Service to Help Elderly and Relatives with Making Social Care Choices

New Local Service to Help Elderly and Relatives with Making Social Care Choices

A new Sutton based service, Encompass Living, has launched to help people with care and support needs to maintain their independence, remain living at home and get the best out of life. The new service will also help those who are supporting relatives requiring care to create a rapidly responsive bespoke, flexible package with the ability to be amended and developed as care requirements change.

Age Space: an online resource for relatives going through care process

Age Space Annabel James

Editor Victoria Galligan spoke to Annabel James, founder of Age Space, about how people caring for elderly relatives were crying out for some more support – and what she did about it.

Eight weeks visiting her mum in the Stroke Unit at Poole Hospital started Annabel James thinking. She felt increasingly isolated and anxious about the decisions that had to be made; not knowing where to find answers – or even what the questions were some of the time. 

As Annabel shared her experience with family and friends it became clear that she wasn’t alone. She then spent a year researching possible solutions which led to her setting up agespace.org  – a one-stop online resource for anyone anxious about or caring for elderly parents or relatives.

Elderly get their perfect slice on National Pizza Day

Elderly get their perfect slice on National Pizza Day

A SLICE of fun was served to Stockton-on-Tees care home residents when they celebrated National Pizza Day.

The residents at Ingleby Care Home, in Ingleby Barwick, were treated to a trip to Frankie and Benny’s at Teesside Park for the day.

They attended a pizza party with all the ingredients to make their own Italian creations supplied by the restaurant free of charge.

Over a dozen residents and staff were joined by young adults from social care provider Vision25, which previously delivered shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts to the care home in December.

Their perfect pizza creations included a mixture of ham, pineapple, mushrooms, peppers, salami and the usual cheese and tomatoes.

Shoe shop opened by Mobility Solutions

Mobility Solutions shoe shop machine

A shoe store complete with a diagnostics machine to help get the best fit for customers has opened in Glasgow. With problems such as bunions and swollen feet preventing many elderly people from buying comfortable shoes on the High Street, the Mobility Solutions store promises to ease the pain of finding the correct footwear.

The opening of Mobility Solutions’ shoe shop, within its Glasgow superstore, was sparked when the company found shoes and slippers were among its best-selling products among customers.

Partially-sighted Rhona, 86, writes memoirs in care home

Rhona writes memoirs

A former teacher is close to completing her memoirs despite being registered blind, thanks to special technology and staff at her care home.

Rhona Handcock, 86, began her life history several years ago but had to put her writing on hold because of her husband’s failing health.  The couple moved into Hastings Court care home on The Ridge in November when the struggle to manage Mike’s health needs at home became too much.

“Before we moved I had dangerously high blood pressure because daily life was so stressful,” said Rhona. “But now I can relax; I know my husband is safe and cared for, we’re much closer to family here and I can get on with my writing.”

Chickens provide animal therapy at care home

animal therapy with dill the chicken

A disabled chicken named Dill and her sister Rosemary paid a visit to residents at a care home to provide animal therapy sessions.

The animals were brought in to help keep the residents occupied and prevent loneliness and boredom, and residents enjoying interacting with the feathered friends. 

The hens belong to Wendy Watkins, a chicken breeder from Whatsandwell, Derbyshire, who took them along to Burton Closes Hall Care Home in Bakewell.

Wendy has eight chickens all named after herbs, with Dill living with a disability after her neck became stuck in her chest when born.

Elderly share fond memories for Storytelling Week


A MONK, an army truck and a cruise were among the plotlines to elderly care home residents’ lives – shared for National Storytelling Week.

The residents at Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, in Peterlee, County Durham, shared stories from their pasts to mark the event.

They created short books for others to read, with photos and words on some of their favourite memories.

Among them was 81-year-old Rose Ann Fenbow, a mother-of-two who grew up in Seaham.

She told fellow residents about the time she was on a night out with friends when she was younger and later driven home in an army truck.


In their own words: Elderly people reveal what stops them visiting the dentist


First hand accounts from elderly people have revealed what is really getting in the way of them making regular visits to the dentist.

In a series of focus groups involving people over 65 years old, researchers discovered exactly what barriers they face when it comes to looking after their teeth1.

The most common major barriers which were identified included anxiety, poor general health, cost and the physical aspect of being unable to travel to a dentist.

Many of those interviewed described that as they aged they found brushing their teeth difficult due to forgetfulness, with one respondent said: “You become shaky and have bad sight, you don’t care in the same way as you get older.”