Barnet Senior Insider, Issue 4 (January / February 2016)

News for senior citizens in Barnet
• Keeping well • Keeping safe • Staying active • Making friends

For a paper copy of this newsletter, download and print Barnet Senior Insider 4 PDF (PDF 293kB, 4 sides A4)

Three ladies at a table with mugs


  • Living in a digital world
  • Tips to protect you against scams
  • Bedtime Routine
  • Steps for staying steady
  • Life After Stroke
  • Living with cancer
  • Life is for living
  • Out & About in Barnet

Living in a Digital World

A little computer knowledge can make a big difference

From staying healthy and paying bills to saving money or keeping in touch, there are lots of ways that being online can make the things you love and life’s little jobs quicker, easier and cheaper.

Being able to use the internet is becoming increasingly important. Many organisations expect that you can navigate the internet or perform transactions online, such as paying bills or booking GP appointments.

Everyone can learn how to use the internet, regardless of age, background, or skill level. Help is available, whether you need to start from scratch, want to improve your skills or just need a little help filling in an online form, setting up an email account or getting to grips with a mobile device

Surinder, 67, says: “With the internet, I’m learning new things every day.” After retiring from her role as a classroom assistant, Surinder found herself with spare time and an urge to keep active, but felt like the modern world was leaving her behind. Thanks to a local friendly run computers group, she’s now learning online and sharing her skills as a volunteer.

A little computer knowledge can make a big difference:

  • Keep in touch with family and friends – with emails, photos and skype.
  • Learn new skills and interests – research hobbies, holidays and look up information.
  • Make your life easier – pay bills online, shop, book holidays and train tickets and much much more!
  • Retain and increase your brain power! – research has shown the clear positive effects of using computers and the Internet.
  • Save time and money – estimates show that you can save up to £560* a year by using the Internet to pay bills and shop online (*estimate based on 2009 PWC Report).

Getting Started

Many local libraries offer internet access, e-books or training courses, speak to a member of staff about what support is offered.

In addition, Age UK Barnet and Altogether Better in Barnet offer a range of free and friendly computer sessions. See below for details under “Out & About in Barnet”.

Bedtime Routine

Fire fighters with hose and waterMany fire deaths happen at night when most people are sleeping

Working smoke alarms should wake you if a fire does break out but you can further reduce your risk by carrying out some simple checks before you go to bed.

  • Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on, such as fridges and freezers
  • Do not leave electrical appliances such as mobile phones and tablet computers charging overnight
  • Check your cooker is switched off
  • Don’t leave the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher on
  • Turn heaters off, rake out fires and put a fire guard in place
  • Put out candles, incense sticks and oil burners and never leave them burning when you are asleep
  • Make sure cigarettes are completely out – it’s best to wet them to be sure
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them.
  • Make sure escape routes are clear of anything that could slow you down in an emergency
  • Never smoke in bed
  • For those who require them, ensure mobility aids are close to hand

Arrange a home fire safety 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 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.

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

Tips to protect you against online scams

Security Details: never give these out in full

Always Check that a caller is genuine: hang up, call someone you know (to ensure the original call is disconnected) before calling back

Funds: never transfer money out of your account for ‘security reasons’

Emails: never send personal or security information

Remember: let your bank know when your contact details change

Steps for Staying Steady

Use this handy checklist as a guide to the eight key things you can do to stay steady on your feet and avoid a fall

  1. Exercise Regularly

    Focus on activities that challenge your balance and strengthen your legs and upper body, like gardening, dancing or tai chi (see below under “Out & About in Barnet”).

  2. Check your eyes and hearing

    Regular sight tests and reporting difficulties with hearing can identify problems affecting your balance.

  3. Look after your feet

    Wear well-fitted shoes and slippers, and report any foot problems to your GP or chiropodist.

  4. Ask about your medicines

    Certain medicines can make you feel faint or affect your balance. Let your GP or pharmacist know if you ever feel like this.

  5. Get enough vitamin D

    Vitamin D is essential for keeping bones strong – the best source is sunshine.

  6. Eat a diet rich in calcium

    Calcium also helps to keep your bones strong. Good sources are dairy foods, fortified soya products and fish.

  7. Check for home hazards

    Make sure your home has no loose wires or rugs and is well lit

  8. Visit your GP

    If you’ve had a fall or are worried about falling, tell your GP. There are many ways to help you feel confident again.

Worried about Falling

Danger of slipping signIf you’ve had a fall or are worried that you might fall, the Falls Clinic is here to help. You can contact the Falls Clinic for help and advice with:

  • Understanding the causes of falls
  • Developing a falls prevention action plans
  • Assessing your home for risks
  • Providing group exercise and classes

Call Barnet Intermediate Care Services Falls Clinic on 020 8349 7528 or 0845 389 0940

Life After Stroke

Barnet Stroke Support ServicesIf you or someone you care about has had a stroke, the Barnet Stroke Support Service can provide practical advice, essential information, and emotional support. The Stroke Support Service can work closely with you to set your own goals and help you achieve them, making sure your needs are met as you make the best possible recovery.

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.

The Stroke Support Service team provides a range of support to stroke survivors and their families, including information on useful local organisations and aphasia cafes. Staff members are available to listen and offer emotional support in adjusting to life after stroke. The team also helps raise awareness of how to prevent a stroke through events and talks.

Helpline: 0303 303 3100

Improving the lives of people living with cancer

Cherry Lodge Cancer CareCherry Lodge Cancer Care aims to improve the lives of people living with cancer, their families and carers within North London and the surrounding area.

All those at Cherry Lodge believe every individual whose life is affected by cancer has the right to the best support and information not only from the time of diagnosis, but throughout the cancer journey.

The centre has a holistic approach seeking to address the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of all those who come to Cherry Lodge, and to this end offers a wide range of services. These include support and information, befriending, acupuncture, aromatherapy, counselling, massage, reflexology and many more. There are also support groups, drop in and various workshops.

All their services are available free of charge to people with cancer, and also to their carers and family members.

Address: 23 Union Street, Barnet
Tel: 020 8441 7000

Life is for Living

Dying Matters, Let's talk about itIt goes against every instinct we have to start planning for our death: in fact, only one in ten of us have talked to anyone about how or where we’d like to die. But every adult, of whatever age, needs to look ahead and ask ‘What if?’

What if I was told I had a week to live?

  • Would those around me know how best to support me?
  • Would they know about any strong wishes I have about how I want to be cared for?
  • Would I have made a will?
  • Would those I love know how I feel about them?
  • Would relatives know about any plans I’ve made for after my death?

Many of us have specific wishes about how we’d like to die, or how long we want doctors to try to keep us alive, or what we’d like to happen after our death.

Some of this can be done in an impersonal way: sorting out a will or organ donation, takes a phone call to the right person. But for some of the most important matters, such as how you’d like to be cared for, the first starting point is your family or loved ones. You need to talk to them about your wishes.

Talking about death doesn’t bring death closer. It’s about planning for life, helping you make the most of the time that you have. All the same, starting the conversation, particularly with those close to you, is never easy. But families commonly report that it comes as a relief to everyone once the subject is brought out into the open.

“It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”
Woody Allen, writer, actor and director

Visit a dementia café near you

If you have dementia, or are caring for someone living with dementia, you’ll be welcomed at any of the dementia cafés. Come along to meet others in a similar situation, in a relaxed social setting. You can spend time sharing information and experiences, or simply have a cup of tea and a chat.

Alzheimer’s Dementia cafés – Tel: 020 8937 7171

  • First and third Mondays of the month 2pm – 4pm
    Lyonsdown Hall, 3 Lyonsdown Road, New Barnet EN5 1JB
  • Last Friday of the month 10.30am – 12.30pm
    Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, London NW7 2AE
  • Second Wednesday of the month 2pm – 4pm
    Activity Rooms, Ground floor, Finchley Memorial Hospital, Granville Road, Finchley N12 0JE

Saracens Dementia Club – Tel: 020 8445 3829

  • Every Wednesday (except second Wednesday of the month) 2pm – 4pm
    Activity Rooms, Ground floor, Finchley Memorial Hospital, Granville Road, Finchley N12 0JE

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 020 3778 0228

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. 020 3778 0228 for details.

Board Game Club – An afternoon of fun and games every Tuesday at 2pm at Woodcourt, South Road, HA8 OBF. Phone 020 3778 0228 for details

Help with IT (computers) Mondays 10.30am—12pm Burnt Oak Library, Watling Avenue, Burnt Oak HA8 0UB Contact: Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email

Child’s Hill & Cricklewood

Games Afternoon On alternate Tuesdays (2-4pm) at St Agnes Centre (see below). Come along and make new friends. Refreshments and free parking available. Contact: Joan 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

Help with IT (computers) Thursdays 10.30am—12pm Edgware Library, Hale Lane, Edgware HA8 8NN Contact: Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email

Community Choir – Mondays 4pm-5pm. Truth Hall, St. Margaret’s Church Contact Nazra on 020 3778 0228. Free

East Finchley

Computers and a Cuppa. Help to use the internet or improve your 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: 020 3778 0228 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: 020 3778 0228 or

Friern Barnet

Help with IT (computers) Thursdays 10.30am – 12pm. South Friern Library, Colney Hatch Lane, N10 1HD Contact: Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email

Men’s Shed – Men get together to do woodwork, gardening or bike 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, 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.

Age UK Computer Suite – Free to use for all people over the age of 55 between the hours of 10am and 3.30pm (by appointment only) The Meritage Centre, Church End, Hendon NW4 To book call 020 8432 1415

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

The above available at Barnet Multicultural Centre, Algernon Road, NW4 3TA

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

New and East Barnet

Help with IT (computers) Thursdays 4pm – 6pm. East Barnet Library, 85 Brookhill Road, East Barnet EN4 8SG Contact: Amanda on 020 8432 1415 or email

Silver Service every TuesdaySilver 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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