Barnet Senior Insider, Issue 3 (November / December 2015)

The guide for senior citizens in Barnet

• Keeping well • Keeping safe • Staying active • Making friends

For a paper copy of this newsletter, download and print BSA Newsletter 3 PDF (PDF 297kB, 4 sides A4)



  • Keeping Warm this Winter
  • Is your home at risk of fire?
  • Keep safe and stay scam aware
  • Keep well get vaccinated
  • Love, care and safety for pets
  • Singing for the brain
  • Dementia Cafes in Barnet
  • Future care planning

Keeping Warm this Winter

One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.

Here are some simple things you can do to keep warm this winter.

Keep Your Home Warm

Your main living room should be between 18-21C (65-70F). Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.

Insulate Your Home

It is vital to stay warm and make best use of energy, so make sure your home is well insulated, join an energy buying club and seek help and advice with your heating

Wrap up Warm

Remember to wear hats, gloves and scarves. If possible, stay inside during a cold period. Wear several thin layers of clothes in order to keep the warm air trapped between them.

Keep Active

Move around at least once an hour and don’t sit down for long periods of time. Even light activity will help keep you warm.

Eat well

Food is a vital source of energy, which helps keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

Look out for Older Friends and Neighbours

Check they’re safe and well through the winter. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you are worried about a relative or an older neighbour, contact Barnet Council on 020 8359 2000

Help with Heating Costs

A Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 is available if you were born on or before 5 January 1953. Cold Weather Payment may be available if you receive certain benefits.

Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau are able to provide advice and information on fuel poverty and debt reduction to any resident. Tel: 0844 826 9336 or visit

Is your home at risk of fire?

Fire rescueHeaters being placed too close to flammable materials are the cause of fires and deaths each year

It is important to stay safe while heating your home; depending on the type of heater in use, you should also be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Portable heaters and fires

  • Secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters
  • Keep heaters away from clothes, curtains and furniture
  • Sit at least one meter away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair, especially if you fall asleep
  • Always turn off your heater and allow it to cool before moving it
  • Change gas heater cylinders in the open air, or open windows and doors if you have to change them indoors
  • Store spare cylinders upright and outside, whenever possible. Never store them in basements, under stairs or in cupboards containing electric meters or equipment
  • If you are using gas, paraffin or bio-fuel heaters make sure the area is well ventilated
  • Never add fuel to a burning fire or attempt to refill a firebox fuel container that is still hot

Arrange a free home fire safety visit

The London Fire Brigade will visit you at home to offer advice on how to make your home safe and where appropriate fit a smoke alarm for free (Strobe light and vibrating-pad smoke alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing).

Why request a visit?

If you are concerned that your home may be at risk of fire, or know someone who you think needs help, then please arrange a visit.

Who do I contact?

Contact the Home Fire Safety on Freephone 08000 284 428 (quoting “BARNET P110”) or visit the London Fire Brigade website and complete the online form at

Keep Safe and Stay Scam Aware

The best way to fight the scammers is to take steps to prevent yourself from being caught out

Remember these 10 golden rules to help you best the scammers

  1. Be suspicious of all ‘Too good to be true’ offers and deals. There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes.
  2. Do not agree to offers or deals immediately. Insist on time to obtain independent/legal advice before making a decision
  3. Do not hand over money or sign anything until you have checked the credentials of the company or individual
  4. Never send money to anyone you do not know or trust or use methods of payment that you are not comfortable with.
  5. Never give banking or personal details to anyone you do not know or trust. This information is valuable to so make sure you protect it.
  6. Always log on to a website directly rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
  7. Do not rely solely on glowing testimonials; find solid independent evidence of a company’s success
  8. Always get independent/legal advice if an offer involves money, time or commitment.
  9. If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help. Contact the local Police if the suspect is known or still in the area or contact ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at
  10. Do not be embarrassed to report a scam. Because the scammers are cunning and clever there is no shame in being deceived. By reporting you will make it more difficult for them to deceive others.

Keep Well – Get Vaccinated

Who can have the shingles vaccination?

The shingles vaccine is available to people aged 70 and 78. 

In addition, anyone who was eligible for immunisation in the first two years of the programme but has not yet been vaccinated remains eligible until their 80th birthday. You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.

Find out more by visiting

The pneumococcal vaccine

Ask your GP whether you need the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects you against some forms of pneumococcal infection including pneumonia. Like the flu jab, the pneumococcal vaccine (also known as the ‘pneumo jab’ is available free on the NHS to everyone aged 65 or over. But it’s a one-off jab rather than an annual one.

Find out more by visiting

Love, care and safety for pets

The Cinnamon TrustPeace of mind and practical help for people

It is widely acknowledged that pets can positively benefit the well-being of their owners.

The Cinnamon Trust have volunteers who can help elderly or terminally ill owners across the UK. They offer services such as dog walking, cat care, and transport to the vets. A short-term fostering is also provided for pets whose owners face a short spell in hospital – volunteers take pets into their own homes and supply love and care until the owner and pet can be reunited. Arrangements are made between owners and the Trust well in advance, so owners have peace in mind in the knowledge that their beloved companion will have a safe and happy future. Emergency cards are available on request.

If you know someone who can benefit from these services, or have an hour a week to spare and would like to volunteer, please contact:

Tel: 01736 757900

Singing for the Brain

Singing for the BrainSinging for the Brain ® is a stimulating group activity, for people in the early to moderate stages of dementia and their carers, which can help with general well-being and confidence. You’ll meet others with similar experiences in a relaxed setting, and can join in a variety of songs, as much or as little as you like. The groups are run by friendly staff and volunteers of the Alzheimer’s Society in Barnet.

How can the sessions help?

  • People with dementia may find that music encourages them to express positive feelings and emotions.
  • Well-known songs can evoke memories, and may enhance communication.
  • The groups encourage movement through hand percussion and actions along to the music.
  • Through coming along to the sessions, people can strengthen existing relationships, share experiences and find support.

To find out more or to find where the nearest Dementia Café is, contact:

Tel: 020 8937 7171

Future Care Planning

Advocacy in BarnetHelping people who are 50 years and over to plan their future care

Future Care Planning is about making decisions now for the future. It is important as it provides you with an opportunity to consider your wishes and preferences now and for the future avoiding decisions being made in a crisis.

The wishes you express during future care planning are personal to you and can be about anything to do with your future care. You may want to include your priorities and preferences for the future, for example:

  • How you might want any religious or spiritual beliefs you hold to be reflected in your care
  • The name of the person/people you wish to act on your behalf at a later time
  • Your choice about where you would like to be cared for, e.g. at home, in a hospital, nursing home or a hospice
  • Your thoughts on different treatments or types of care that you might be offered
  • How you like to do things, for example preferring a shower instead of a bath or sleeping with the light on.
  • Concerns or solutions about practical issues, for example who will look after your dog should you become ill.

Advocacy in Barnet’s Future Care Planners provide free one-to-one sessions on how to complete a Future Care Plan form.

Tel: 020 8201 3415 / 020 8201 3148

Out & About in Barnet

Burnt Oak & Colindale

Talkie Walkies – walking group that meets on Tuesday mornings at 9.30am and Saturday mornings at 10am at Watling Park. For more information email or phone 07909 998463

Make friends with a book – reading group meets every Tuesday at 10.30am at Burnt Oak Library. Call 07815 554713 for details.

Movie afternoon – every third Thursday at Woodcourt Sheltered Housing. Show time 3.45pm. 07909 998463 for details.

Board Game Club – An afternoon of fun and games every Tuesday at 2pm at Woodcourt, South Road, HA8 0BF. Phone 07909 998463 for details

Free coffee morning. Open to all, just pop in for a chat and to meet new friends. Help with IT (computers) is available. Mondays 10.30am—12pm Burnt Oak Library, Watling Avenue, Edgware HA8 0UB Contact: Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email

Child’s Hill & Cricklewood

Games Afternoon On alternate Tuesdays from 2pm—4pm St Agnes Centre hosts an over 55s games afternoon. Come along and make new friends while having fun! Refreshments provided and free parking available. At St Agnes Centre, Gillingham Road (off Cricklewood Lane) NW2 1RL Contact: Joan at the Parish Office on 020 8 452 2475 or Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email:

Gentle exercise to music group Mondays 10.30am – 11.30am (£3) at St Agnes Centre, Gillingham Road, Cricklewood, NW2 1RL Telephone: 020 8432 1415

Edgware & Stonegrove

Coffee morning – Every Wednesday 10.30am – 12noon Truth Hall, St. Margaret’s Church. Free entry. 

Coffee morning – Open to all. Thursdays 10.30am—12pm Edgware Library, Hale Lane HA8 8NN Contact: Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email

Community Choir – Mondays 4pm-5pm. Larches Community Trust 1 Rectory Lane Contact Nazra on 07909 998463. Free

East Finchley

Computers and a Cuppa. Help to use the internet for those starting from scratch, or those wanting to improve their computer skills. Tuesdays 2 – 4pm at Homefield Gardens Wednesday 2 – 4pm at Wilmot Close, Thursdays 10-12noon, Seasons Café, 205 High Road, N2 8AN. Call for details: 07909 998453 or

Exercise – gentle exercise to music. £3 each. Mondays 2pm – 3pm, Low impact exercise for the more active, Wednesdays 2.15pm – 3.15pm and Exercise Class, Thursdays 11am 12pm at Age UK, Ann Owens Centre, N2 8LT

Table tennis. Come and play table tennis for free – all ages and abilities welcome. Tuesdays 2:30-4.00pm Shree Aden Depala Centre, Church Lane, East Finchley. Call for details: 07909 998453 or

Friern Barnet

Love to Dance – St John’s Parish Centre Friern Barnet Road N11 3EQ Wednesdays 10am – 12noon for details and cost contact: 020 3675 7246 or email

Men’s Shed – Men get together to do woodwork, gardening, bike and vehicle repairs. Freehold Community Centre, Alexandra Road. N10 2EY Call Chris on 07935 324578 or email

Walking Football – Thursdays 11am – noon. Power League Pitches, Bobby Moore Way, off Colney Hatch Lane, N10 1ST. Call Roger on 07817 11642


Outdoor Fitness Class – Mondays 9.30am-10.30am. Friary Park, (opposite Ashurst Road) North Finchley N12 9PD. Cost £1.50 Contact Karen on 020 8150 0967 or email

The Wednesday Club – Tea, cakes, friendship and fun on Wednesdays during term time 2.15 – 4pm St. Barnabas Church, Holden Road, N12 7DN (close to Woodside Park tube). It’s free, all welcome! Contact Chris on 020 8888 1786.

Instructor-led health walks – Mondays 9.30am – 10.30am. Woodside Park / Laurel Way. Cost £2.80 Contact 020 8359 2397.


Make Friends With A Book Mondays 1.30-3pm. Cheshire Hall Community Centre, Fosters Street, NW4 2AA. Contact: Paul on 07815 554713. Free.

Men’s Shed – Men get together to do woodwork, gardening, bike and vehicle repairs. Wednesdays 11am – 1pm. The Meritage Centre, Church End, Hendon NW4 Contact Karen on 020 8150 0967

Available at Barnet Multicultural Centre, Algernon Road, NW4 3TA Ballroom dancing First and third Tuesday of the month, 11am—11.40am Call 020 8202 3794 for details. Cost: £3
Zumba Gold Tuesdays 10am—10.40am Call 020 8202 3794 Cost: £3 Tai Chi Thursdays 11am—12pm Contact: Lisa or Dawn on 020 8432 1415 Cost: £3

High Barnet & Whetstone

Love to Dance Class incorporates various dance styles – Salsa, Line, Cha Cha Cha, Bollywood, Rock ‘n’ Roll and many more at Underhill Baptist Church Elton Avenue, Barnet EN5 2EA Cost: £4.50 Tuesdays 10am—12pm Contact: 020 3675 7246 or email

Yoga – Thursdays 11am – 12noon. Manor Drive Methodist Church, N20 0DZ. Contact Nila on 07800 708824 for more information and costs.

Tai Chi – various days and times at Chipping Barnet Library. For details call Richard on 020 8455 5463.

Mill Hill & Totteridge

Gentle exercise – Fridays 12pm—1pm Mill Hill East Church, Salcombe Gardens, NW7 2NT. Cost: £4.00 Contact: Ken Smith on 020 8922 3464 or email .

Seated exercise to Music. St Paul’ Church, The Ridgway NW7 1QU Fridays 10.15am – 11.15am. Cost: £2 including refreshments. Contact: 020 8906 3797

Tai Chi – Tuesdays 11am – noon. Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, NW7 2AW Contact Deborah on 020 8432 1420 Cost £3

Silver Service every Tuesday Silver Service takes place in Edgware and East Finchley every Tuesday with several local cafés and restaurants offering £5 set meal deals to customers over 60 years of age, and their guest. Look out for the Silver Service logo on restaurant and café windows

Contact Us

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