Author: Karl Gibbs


Man crossing rickety string bridge.

When everything you do seems like a challenge maybe it is time to ask for help to make things easy again

If you are becoming less able to cope with everyday tasks, known professionally as ‘activities of daily living’ (ADLs), and you are having difficulty solving the problem yourself then you could look on reputable websites for guidance such as AgeUK or which are both charities.

If you still have an unresolved issue you could speak with an Occupational Therapist (OT). OTs are not just for working life but have a mission to ‘overcome barriers preventing people from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them.’ OTs will be up to date with the latest aids and services that can make life more manageable.

You can ask your local council or doctor for an assessment, but you are likely to find yourself on a waiting list which can be quite substantial and any support will probably be means tested. If you can afford it, go to (website of the OT’s Royal College) and click ‘find an occupational therapist’.

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Leaves showing the changing colors of the seasons.

A lot of the changes are so gradual that they don’t even qualify as news, or even as interesting: they’re so mundane that we just take them for granted. But history shows that it’s the mundane changes that are more important than the dramatic ‘newsworthy’ events.

~ Robert D Kaplan

A good way to make the gradual changes more perceptable is to record snapshots against a date and we have designed a checklist for you to download, print, record and keep.

You can dowload your one page simple health checklist by clicking here.

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Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when we look back everything is different.

   ~ C S Lewis

Optometrist examines eyesight of woman
A regular eye exam

A child’s growth is far more noticeable if you don’t see them every day. Likewise a drift from energy and health is far more noticeable if you look at information which is separated by time. The imperceptible changes that happen every day become perceptible over time and once you have perceived a change, often you can do something about it.

Make sure you have the right checks scheduled

You should be seen by health professionals in the proper timescales.

Health checks with a GP

If you haven’t been seeing the doctor for any other reason which would

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In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Having useful tools to help plan will helpo you to be able to find the words for what you want to do, after all a wise man once said

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
~ Albert Einstein

albert einstein. graffiti in st. petersburg russia

SMART targets help you to make the future more tangible and give a good framework to work too; people use different words to complete the acronym but we suggest using the following.

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“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
~ Alan Lakein

Look for win-wins

Try looking for activities that achieve more than one of your objectives, for instance if you would like to get fitter and to save money, cycling will both improve your fitness and can save on transport costs. Likewise, if you are someone who would like to get fitter and also widen their social circle join a club rather than exercising alone.

Be curious

Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Whilst you might like to revisit old activities, how about exploring new ones?

Hare at the green forest

Stretch not stress

As a guideline look for activities which are going to stretch you in some way but not ones that will be stressful.

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time. If what you want ultimately to achieve seems too big, break it into smaller chunks so that each one is manageable.

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Recording health and wellbeing

By recording how our health and wellbeing is today we can see the direction (and speed) it is headed in in a few month’s time. Our handy chart is available for you to print out, keep and compare periodically.

“To get from A to B you have to take the first step, ideally in the right direction.”

Always compare!

Compare with where you are now and where you’d like to be to make the most of your journey but try not to compare with others.

Here are some questions to ask yourself which will help you define where you are now and decide where you’d like to be.

Be objective, when you can…

So much of life is subjective but there are some very powerful tools that will help you spot trends to help you remedy a situation before it becomes a crisis. For example

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(and a handy trick for getting to sleep)

Rest gives a solid base for both mental and physical health. Though people need differing amounts of rest and sleep it is important that you get enough for your needs.

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
~ Ernest Hemingway

In theory you could find that you are sleeping well and have great mental and physical wellbeing without doing much else, but in practice rest is a foundation and some maintenance is likely to be needed on other parts of the structure.

Here is a handy method that you might find useful for getting to sleep:

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The recipe for wellbeing

Like all recipes getting the right balance of ingredients is important for wellbeing. You may be limited by the ingredients available, but you can make the best of what you have.

“I do not stick to rules when cooking. I rely on my imagination.”
~ Akshay Kumar

Aim to be as fit as you can be to meet your life aims, both physically and mentally. For instance if you want to fly jet planes you may need to be at the peak of physical and mental fitness but being able to drive for half an hour won’t need such attention.

Look after your mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation found that two out of three people will experience mental health issues during their life, and at any time only around one in eight people score highly on all the positive aspects of mental wellbeing. Sometimes mental ill health may be in part due to behaviour you can easily change but some factors may need external help. This could be as simple as a vitamin D deficiency which is easily remedied or could be more complex.

Your mental wellbeing is fundamental to your overall wellbeing. It is an area that many people can feel embarrassed about. It may help to think ‘if my best friend told me they had my symptoms, what would I advise them to do’ and then treat yourself how you’d hope they’d treat themselves.

If you have a critical issue bothering you, click here for some information about what you can do now.

How to get the latest Health Active Ageing

If you are looking for some regular handy tips to help keep you shipshape, you have some choices:

  1. The simplest is to fill in your details below and click on the ‘Get Healthy Active Ageing’ button
  2. Bookmark our blogs and visit is regularly, you will be able to navigate through all our posts
  3. Follow us on Facebook

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Choosing happiness & wellbeing.

“When we understand the connection between how we live and how long we live, it’s easier to make different choices.”
   ~Dean Ornish

None of us will be 18 again but there are sensible, practical things you can do to stay safe and active mentally and physically. This series of guides provides some useful tips to help you decide what you would see as improvement and how you could get there. We offer some choice of things you could do so you can face the future happier and healthier by doing things you like. Making plans and tackling some of the things that worry you will help. We point to other resources and organisations which have useful information and offer guidance. And don’t feel you have to try every single thing we suggest.

This series of guides is about general wellbeing and offers all sorts of advice about how to make you and your circumstances work better.

Why choosing is important

Research from the Institute for Ageing at Newcastle University shows that maintaining your levels of independence in the small things helps stops progression into larger problems associated with a steeper and quicker decline. Often the first activity to become difficult is cutting your toenails. If you are having difficulty with this it is probably a sign that at least one of your capabilities is in decline. At this point you have a choice, whether to re-able yourself to cut your toenails or to arrange for ongoing help with toenail maintenance.

If you successfully ‘re-able’ yourself you may:

• Live 3 years longer
• Get another 6.5 years of independent life (measured by whether or not you need help to cook a hot meal)
• Reduce your final period of dependence from 5.5 years to 2 years.

With foresight and planning you should be able to prolong the period before any of these problems even emerge. If you already need help with some activities it might be possible to become more able again or at least slow decline. Choosing the right activities could lead a happier life too.

If you have a critical issue bothering you, click here for some information about what you can do now.

How to get the latest Health Active Ageing

If you are looking for some regular handy tips to help keep you shipshape, you have some choices:

  1. The simplest is to fill in your details below and click on the ‘Get Healthy Active Ageing’ button
  2. Bookmark our blogs and visit is regularly, you will be able to navigate through all our posts
  3. Follow us on Facebook

Fit & forget: Mission accomplished

This is a very personal post but I hope relevant.

Many moons ago I set out to create the Assure after a conversation with my mother and looking for the appropriate way to look out for her as she lived in her home by herself (with pets) and was not, as the saying goes, getting any younger.

Exploring the traditional pendant alarm approach, I found they were limited in their function and that they have impediments to being worn all the time, and apart from that people tend to not wear them. The new Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring expects certain behaviour and can report when something doesn’t happen but you may have to wait for an expected event to be missed to find out that someone needed help 12 hours before – which I didn’t think was good enough. So we set about creating the Assure, finding talented partners and investment and developing the stay-connected wristband to make sure you could have cover throughout your home and garden 24/7.

In the early hours of yesterday morning I got a call from the system saying my mother had called for help. I looked on the portal and could see that she was moving, but had definitively called for help. Though I didn’t have to look, I just wanted to double check.

I live some distance (about 3 hours drive) away and so I called an ambulance which arrived a short time later. It seemed that she had gone downstairs for a bathroom break in the middle of the night and slipped or fallen as she started up stairs back to her bedroom. She is now ensconced in the Royal Bournemouth hospital where she has been diagnosed with a broken ankle. None of us know when an emergency will occur and we were lucky that it was not a particularly cold night and that she was found quickly. But had she had any other system it could have taken hours, or she could be lying there still.


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    18 Hill Street
    Saffron Walden
    CB10 1JD

© Copyright Acticheck Ltd, 2019 | UK company registration: 08852416

If you know something is wrong then please contact an expert immediately.

Your doctor can help with medical problems, or if you are in an emotional crisis you could contact the Samaritans. You can call them free from any phone on 116 123, email or you may have a branch near you that you can visit (see

If the cause of your crisis is feeling overwhelmed by a financial or legal issue then they may suggest a local legal centre or the Citizens Advice Bureau as a good first step to solving your issues.

There is a Spanish phrase that says ‘Where there is a will, there are many ways’. Just because what you have tried so far has not worked does not mean there is nothing else to try and these people are expert at finding the right solution in a crisis, and they care.