Website for the over 60s  July 2017
 Food and Drink
Health & Wellbeing 
Shopping & Reviews
Travel & Holidays
 Entertainment & Travel
Competitions & Letters


 Chat and Socialise
Retirement & Hobbies
 Beauty & Hair Styles

Fashion & Accessories
Pet Care
Homes & Gardens

 Our Friends


A Healthy Steer
on Drinking Beer

Dr Sally Norton

By Dr Sally Norton, founder

Beer is a lovely cool drink to enjoy in the warm weather. But if you’re going to have a beer, here’s how to make it a healthier one….

1. Go for one that’s lower in alcohol content so you don’t overdo your units. The Department of Health says there is no safe alcohol limit – but if you can’t do without your booze, try to keep to 14 units a week, or less, if possible. You make think a half pint is one unit – that’s only true if the alcohol content is around 3.5%. Any more and your units will be creeping up without you realising it.

Ultra Light Cider

2. Avoid the high sugar versions – they increase the calorie count. Fruit-flavoured beers or a cider alternative can add several teaspoons of sugar.

3. Splash out on organic beer. It’s difficult to conclusively prove they make a significant difference to your health but anything made without the use of lots of pesticides is likely to be better for you and the environment. Yes, they may cost a bit more than mass-produced versions, but if it means you drink fewer as a result, that’s a win for your health too!

A pint of Guinness or other dark beer has more fibre than light beer and lots of B vitamins

4. Choose varieties with added benefits. A pint of Guinness or other dark beer has more fibre than light beer and lots of B vitamins. Plus it fills you up, with no more calories than lighter beer.

5. Go gluten-free if you have coeliac disease or are truly gluten-intolerant. The gluten-free beers are getting better and better as demand increases. Though personally I would probably opt for a drink that is naturally gluten-free than one that may require extra processing to remove gluten.

And remember, for the sake of your weight, don’t overdo it – there’s a good reason for the name ‘beer-gut’. The central obesity that causes the classic beer-gut appearance is also the type most associated with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke – so you may get more than you bargained for in your pint.

Dr Sally Norton is a Health Expert and NHS weight loss consultant surgeon. Sally is also the founder of  

Former Marine Urges Awareness
of Tinnitus

Harris Tatakis served in Afghanistan

Harris Tatakis served in Afghanistan

A former section commander in the Royal Marines who nearly died in a bomb blast in Afghanistan is raising awareness of tinnitus - calling it the ‘unseen injury which has affected me most’.

Harris Tatakis was seriously injured when his Land Rover drove over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan in 2007, shattering his left leg, breaking his right foot, causing brain damage and rupturing both his ear drums.

But ten years on and after undergoing numerous operations on his leg and treatment for his brain injury, the 39-year-old from Plymouth is calling for greater awareness and understanding of the effects of his ‘unseen injury’ – tinnitus.

People affected by tinnitus hear a ringing, hissing or whistling sound in one or both of their ears or head not linked to any external source and is often caused by exposure to loud noise or ear or head injuries.

Harris says, “Because it’s an unseen injury, it doesn’t get the attention it warrants. There is not enough understanding of how life-limiting tinnitus can be – the need for low background noise to distract you combined with constantly keeping yourself occupied to stop your brain focusing on the noises it’s being bombarded with, it’s hugely tiring.

“Out of all my injuries this is the one that’s affected me most.”

Harris is keen to raise greater awareness after treatment from The Tinnitus Clinic in Bristol, funded by the Royal British Legion (RBL), led to a significant reduction in the intensity of his condition.

He says, “I was in hospital after the explosion and undergoing a lot of surgery – I needed to rest as much as possible so I could start to heal and get better. But while I was being given morphine for the pain, medication couldn’t do anything about the constant ringing in my ears which was affecting my ability to sleep or even try to relax.

“I’m also affected by hyperacusis which means I am very sensitive to loud or high-pitched tones – the very noises which are similar to my tinnitus sound – so the two conditions often clash and it can become unbearable.”

According to the RBL, one in four Service members returning from conflicts complains of hearing loss and/or tinnitus. More than 40%said their tinnitus symptoms had a “significant effect” on their quality of life.

Veterans are also more than three times as likely to suffer from hearing loss than the general population, and while many people can use devices and treatments which are available from the NHS, for others a more specialist expert approach is needed.

Harris says, “I have had treatment for my hearing issues at various NHS hospitals in the past which helped get the conditions under control to an extent.

“But last year I went back into hospital for another operation on my leg and afterwards had a bad reaction to the medication – and my tinnitus went through the roof.

“It was horrendous and making me feel desperate and I was searching online every day for treatments when I discovered The Tinnitus Clinic. I realised a lot of the treatments they had were exclusive to the UK and decided to see if they could help.”

Harris started treatment at the Clinic in January and has received a mixture of Tinnitus Desensitisation Therapy™ (TDT) and Levo® which uses iPod technology to deliver treatment while he sleeps.

He says, “The treatment has reduced the intensity a lot and brought it back to the level it was before the bad reaction last year. I am able to function a lot better and can live with the level.

“There needs to be much greater understanding of tinnitus and the treatments available. People get told all the time there’s no cure and while that may well be true, there are treatments out there that can help make it much more manageable and easier to live with.”

For further information on The Tinnitus Clinic’s multidisciplinary approach call 0203 3261777, visit  or e-mail

More information on funding from Veterans Hearing Fund (VHF) can be found on  or call the Royal British Legion contact centre on 0808 802 8080.


Trout with Dill and Scandi Slaw

Trout with Dill and Scandi Slaw

This delicious trout recipe will make a lovely healthy meal, and is fresh and light for the summer.

Dill and fennel work really well with trout, and this recipe will make a hearty lunch for four people.

This healthy recipe has been created by Waitrose.


· 2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced
· 2 tbsp cider vinegar
· 8 radishes
· 65g gherkins
· 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
· 100ml buttermilk
· ½ x 15g pack dill, roughly chopped
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· 4 English rainbow trout fillets


1. Preheat the grill to high. Put the fennel in a large bowl and toss with the vinegar, then set aside to steep. Finely slice the radishes and gherkins.

2. Combine the mustard, buttermilk and half the dill. Season, then toss into the fennel with the radishes and gherkins.

3. Line a baking tray with oiled foil, then sit the fish on top, skin-side down. Season, scatter with the remaining dill and drizzle with the oil.

4. Grill the trout for 4-5 minutes, until the fish flakes easily. Serve with the slaw and some good bread.

Drinks recommendation

Felsner Grüner Veltliner Moosburgerin has a stunning ability to bring a meal together - its light peach fruit backed by white pepper notes and a crisp feel will harmonise the rich fish and tangy slaw.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

For more delicious Waitrose recipes click on

Health & Wellbeing

June Hits the Jackpot

June Leathers

A retired clerk who could no longer read or drive because of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can now see the top THREE lines of the eye chart, watch tennis on TV and play bowls again, thanks to a revolutionary eye operation at the London Eye Hospital (LEH),


June Leathers, 74 – a mother of two from Eastbourne has been wearing glasses since she was 20 and was diagnosed with AMD at 55. When her vision became so bad that she could no longer drive or play bowls she decided to have the renowned eyeMax Mono lens to help restore her sight.

June has been struggling with short-sightedness since she was 20, which led to embarrassing episodes like getting on the wrong bus as she couldn’t read the numbers! She had her eyes tested regularly and was eventually told she needed varifocals. At 55 after a routine eye test her optician said he could see something at the back of her eye and sent her to Eastbourne General Hospital for further investigation, but unfortunately they couldn’t do much to help.

June says, “At the time, 19 years ago, treatment wasn’t that advanced and so I was told to eat spinach and take eye caps! Now the eye departments at Eastbourne and Brighton are much improved. I know that injections are given as soon as wet macular is found.

“A friend of mine who is a doctor recommended I have laser eye treatment done privately which saved my right eye, but didn’t do much for my left. After a couple of years, I thought this is ridiculous. No one had taken photos of the back of my eyes to find out what was wrong. I went back to my GP and was referred to Brighton Hospital where they finally took some photos and told me I had wet macular degeneration at 55. I was offered eye injections and have since had 40 which have helped until recently.”

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive condition that affects the central vision, eventually leading to loss of sight. There is currently no cure for it. It  is  believed  that  there are more than 4 million people with AMD in the UK alone: 500,000 sufferers of ‘late stage’ AMD and the rest with either ‘early’ or ‘intermediate’, in which vision loss is already beginning to affect the ability to drive, see faces and read. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be nearly 6 million cases of AMD in Britain alone, due to the rising number of people living to an older age.

Over the next few years June’s vision continued to deteriorate and she also developed cataracts in both eyes. She was sent back to Eastbourne hospital to see if they could help but much to her frustration was told her cataracts weren’t worth operating on! Three years ago she was out driving one sunny day and realised she had shadows in her eyes and couldn’t see things properly. She stopped driving the same day feeling scared of what might happen. “This was my lowest point as I really enjoyed the independence driving gave me.”

After reading an article in the Daily Mail about a lady who could no longer see her grandchildren June felt inspired to get in touch with LEH to see if they could help. Her daughter who is 47 has also recently been diagnosed with macular degeneration and wanted to support her mum on her journey. June had been made redundant from her office job so decided to use her pay out to fund the treatment. After an initial consultation she was delighted to be told she was a suitable candidate for the eyeMax Mono lens treatment.

The eyeMax Mono is a state-of-the-art and the world’s first single lens implant (all previous versions required two lenses, which could be difficult to align depending on the size and shape of patients’ eyes), which takes only about five minutes to insert in a blade-less procedure. The eyeMax Mono is one of a range of lenses for AMD available at Harley Street-based London Eye Hospital; which have previously won awards for scientific advances including ‘Innovation of the Year’ by prestigious journal The Ophthalmologist.

Unlike the ‘Galilean’ miniature telescopes that came before and which involved two separate lenses, eyeMax Mono is just a single one which sends a ‘widescreen’ image to the entire macula – so the brain can continue to compensate for the loss in central vision without sacrificing sharpness in peripheral vision.

All intraocular lenses project an image to the back of the eye (the macula). Because of the loss of central vision in AMD sufferers, the brain takes details form the images it receives from the eyeMax Mono lens and combines them, making one whole composite image. Even if the patient’s vision deteriorates, the image can remain largely unaffected, as the patient will subconsciously shift their gaze or slightly tilt their head to project the images against a healthier part of the macula. This means that the eyeMax Mono offers patients some protection against future disease progression, buying the patient more time against AMD-related vision loss. Crucially, it is suitable for patients who have already had cataract surgery, and can also be implanted during cataract surgery (the most popular elective surgery in the world), replacing the patient’s existing lens.

June had her left eye operated on first in 2016 which was a success and she can now read the top THREE lines of the eye chart with her left eye and almost the fourth line with her right eye.

“It was fantastic. I didn’t feel a thing. The surgeons told me what they were doing as they went along. After a week my left eye cleared up and there’s been a gradual improvement in my vision since. I had my right eye done a week later and that improved quickly. Reading is still difficult – it has to be dark print for me to see it but I can do it if I take my time – I’m impatient! I have a magnifying glass which helps. I can now read recipes and cook. I can also watch tennis on TV and see where the ball is!”

“I still can’t drive unfortunately – I’m just one line down on the eye chart but I’m having it checked every year so hopeful I’ll be able to drive again. I also love bowling and play in the summer but it’s not been easy for the last two years. On sunny days it was hazy and I couldn’t see the yellow jack so had to use the white one. I didn’t really know what I was doing! Now everything is going well with my sight and I start bowling outdoors next week.

“I went to Sainsbury’s recently and could see all the expiry dates on the food. I didn’t have to ask anyone and came out with a big smile on my face. I can now shop on my own and don’t have to rely on my magnifier. I had no idea what to do when I was 55 – now I can see better I have treated myself to a new phone and camera.”

According to the London Eye Hospital Medical team, “The eyeMax Mono is simply the most technologically advanced implant in the world for patients like June, who have dry AMD, and also conditions like macular holes, diabetic maculopathy, myopic degeneration and diseases such as Stargardt’s and Best’s. It is an evolution of the iolAMD Hubble technology into a single implant which will carry on working forever as it uses the entire macula and incorporates new optical technology never before used in the world to achieve this by allowing the brain to re-map the central vision. We can insert it in a blade-less procedure in about five minutes, which most people are amazed to discover!

“Patients are continually told by most sources that there are no options – yet we’ve been involved in the development of three solutions in the last 24 months. In less than two years, we have moved from old-fashioned, risky open eye surgery, to being able to place tiny and flexible AMD lenses in a blade-free incision of less than 2mm.

“We are delighted that June is so happy with the results. It’s wonderful to be able to challenge conventional thinking around eye health, and to be able to offer treatment that helps people maintain their quality of life and independence”.

About the London Eye Hospital

The London Eye Hospital brings together leading Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons to create a centre of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of all eye conditions to the highest standard. All surgery is carried out at the London Eye Hospital, one of the most advanced eye surgery facilities in the world, which is also registered by the Care Quality Commission.

All surgeons hold or have held NHS Consultant posts and are acclaimed experts in their specialist area with an international reputation. They are also registered with all the well-known medical insurance companies such as AXA, Bupa, Norwich Union, Standard Life and others. The mission of the London Eye Hospital is to simply provide the highest level of eye care without compromise. Patients have the opportunity to discuss all treatment options including the latest technology and surgical techniques, which are not currently available on the NHS, some of which have been pioneered by London Eye Hospital surgeons.

All surgeons:

· Hold or have held Fellowships with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) or the Royal College of Surgeons in Ophthalmology (FRCS(Ophth).

· Are on the General Medical Council Specialist Register for Ophthalmic Surgery.

· In addition to full specialist training have also completed further Fellowship training e.g. in corneal surgery or refractive laser surgery, or both.

· Currently hold or have held NHS Consultant posts.

For further information please visit the website at 

When Did you Last Play Sport?

35% of us haven't played sport for over 20 years

35% of us haven’t for over 20 years

We are a nation of sports fans – watching sports on TV, whether it’s the World Cup, Wimbledon, the Olympics, Tour de France…supporting our national heroes has become somewhat of a British pastime.

But should we be doing more than just watching our sport heroes on TV?

· DW Fitness has found  has found 40% of women and 30% of men haven’t played sport for over 20 years:

· The gender divide starts young, with just 19% of women and 40% of men aged 18-24 saying they have played a sport this week

· The gap continues to grow with age: 65% of women aged over 65 haven't played a sport for over 20 years (compared to 45% of over 65 men)

At a time when national obesity is affecting a
quarter of adults, these are worrying statistics.

Dr Philippa Kaye author of The First Five Years and Baby & Child Health says, “The fear of sports, especially organised sports often starts at around adolescence during PE at school - we are worried that we won't be good at it, that others will laugh at us, that we can't do it, that it is embarrassing.

“Add on 20 or 40 years and these anxieties can become quite deep-rooted and in addition there are new worries - I won't be able to do it, it will hurt my bad back/knee/fill in the blank. However being active isn't about being Usain Bolt, rather finding something that you enjoy, whether or not you are good at it, and just getting going!”

Eddy Diget, considered to be Britain’s oldest personal trainer at aged 72 says, “I think a lot of people don’t take part in sport because they do not think they are good enough.

If you like the sport, and have the aptitude to play it, no matter what sport - do it! It will stimulate your body through exercise, get your lungs working no doubt, and you will become part of a team you would normally just watch – what could be wrong in that?”

The benefits to taking part in sport are not just physical, as the mental health charity Mind explains the social and emotional benefits of playing sport:

Making friends and connecting with people

Taking part in sport is a great way to make friends

Being around people is good for our mental health and social networks – plus you can maximise the benefits of exercising by doing it with other people. You may find that the social benefits are just as important as the physical ones.

Having fun

Lots of us enjoy being active because it's fun. Researchers have shown that there's a link between the things we enjoy doing and improvements in our wellbeing overall. If you enjoy an activity you're also more likely to keep doing it.

Challenging stigma and discrimination

Some people find that joining a sport programme helps reduce the stigma attached to their mental health problem.

Getting involved in local projects with other people who share a common interest can be a great way to break down barriers and challenge discrimination.

Read more tips here on how to exercise as you get older.

  Rechargeable Smart
Hearing Aids Integrate
 Seamlessly with Your
    Connected World

Oticon Opn™ hearing aids

 The world’s first internet connected
      hearing aid Oticon Opn™
              rechargeable upgrade

Oticon Opn™, the world’s first hearing aid that connects to and interacts with the Internet via the IFTTT Network, is set to become a rechargeable hearing solution.

Winner of two 2017 CES Innovations Awards for Wearable Technology and Tech for a Better World and a prestigious 2017 Red Dot award, Oticon Opn now also comes with rechargeable batteries. The sleek, discreet smart hearing aid that can be programmed to talk directly with doorbells, baby monitors, security cameras and other smart devices via the Oticon ON App will offer a more environmentally friendly and convenient power platform. Existing Opn hearing aid users can also benefit from the rechargeable solution via a simple upgrade.

Oticon Opn™ hearing aids can be recharged overnight

The new rechargeable hearing aid allows overnight battery charging to provide sufficient power to last throughout the day. Oticon has also provided the flexibility to interchange the rechargeable battery with disposable batteries when charging is forgotten or not convenient, for example, when travelling.

“Opn will offer the convenience of rechargeable batteries whilst continuing to offer all the award-winning benefits,” says Ole Asboe Jørgensen, President, Oticon brand, Global. “The open sound experience, direct streaming and easy connection to the Internet are now powered throughout the day by simply placing the hearing aids in the charger overnight. Making Opn rechargeable is a practical and welcome solution for hearing aid users that want Opn’s revolutionary open sound experience and the convenience of a rechargeable hearing solution.”

Oticon Opn™ can handle noisy environments and are easy to recharge overnight

In its core function as a hearing aid, Opn overcomes a challenge that even the most advanced hearing aids struggle to solve - the ability to handle noisy environments and follow rapidly changing conversations with multiple speakers, such as the
infamous ‘restaurant dilemma’.

Opn users will continue to enjoy the pioneering power and speed of the Velox™ platform that enables them to hear better with less effort and remember more even in the most challenging environments. They can also confidently take full advantage of Opn’s 2.4 GHz for direct streaming to iPhone®, TVs, radios, laptops and more throughout the day.

The Opn miniRITE rechargeable solution will be made available later this year. For more information on Oticon Opn, visit

* It is estimated that one pair of environmentally friendly rechargeable batteries can save approximately 150-200 disposable batteries per year.

About Oticon

500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The majority are over the age of 50 while 8% are under the age of 18. It is Oticon's ambition that our customers - hearing clinics throughout the world - prefer to use our products for people with impaired hearing.

Through passion, dedication and professional expertise, Oticon develops and manufactures hearing aids for both adults and children. Oticon supports every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe and we pride ourselves on developing some of the most innovative hearing aids in the market. Headquartered out of Denmark, we are a global company and part of William Demant Holding Group with more than 12,000 employees and revenues of over DKK 12 billion.

For more information please visit the website at

     Men's Health
 Awareness Advice
     from Age UK

Top tips from Age UK about men's health

Age UK - the charity that supports older people - has highlighted some of the health issues affecting older men, and provides advice and support with these five top tips

1. Doctorphobia

Previous research has revealed men’s reluctance to go to the doctor. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that men are less likely than women to seek help from health professionals for problems as diverse as depression, and physical disabilities to stressful life events.

What’s more, although overall life expectancy is increasing for men in the UK, the number of years they can expect to live in good health is not keeping pace. As a result men are now spending a greater proportion of their lives living with disability and long term conditions, many of which are preventable or can be managed with help.

“Contrary to widespread belief, most old-age conditions, including deafness, depression, arthritis and diabetes can be treated. Yet two-thirds of problems are not disclosed to patients’ general practitioners” says Dr Ian Philp, Honorary Professor of Health Care for Older People, University of Warwick.

In short, too many older men are not accessing the health and support services that could save and improve the quality of their lives.

2. Jellybelly

Evidence clearly shows that as men age, their body composition changes. Abdominal fat increases and waist circumference becomes a good predictor of ill-health, especially cardiovascular, and is quite significant for diabetes risk too.

Being very overweight puts us at risk of serious diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers, including bowel cancer. Some studies have also shown that being overweight can mean an increased risk of dementia into older age.

Age UK’s
Healthy Eating and Healthy Living guides offer tips to help stay active which in turn can help to manage high blood pressure and angina, keep you at a healthy weight, maintain regular bowel movements, stimulate a poor appetite, strengthen muscles and bones, which reduces the risk of falls and fractures, prevent some long-term conditions, such as arthritis from getting worse. Age UK’s Healthy Living guide helps you identify what types of exercise you might like to do too.

3. Mind Matters

Many of the risk factors for depression and poor mental health can catch up with older men as they age. Bereavement, changes in physical health, and adapting to life without working can affect all older people and while not everyone will develop mental health problems as a result, many do. Around 1 in 4 older men live with depression, and while more older women live with this condition, suicide rates are higher in older men.

All older people face challenges accessing the support their need. In Age UK’s 2016 report Hidden in plain sight: the unmet mental health needs of older people, we described how referrals to talking therapies are almost half what they should be for older people. Across all ages, men are half as likely as women to be referred.

Some mild symptoms can be helped by exercising or joining a self-help group. Sometimes these symptoms will pass by themselves, especially if you are getting over a trauma. However, you should never be afraid to seek help when these symptoms persist or get worse.

Older men should not be afraid or embarrassed to seek help if they feel they are struggling with their mental health. Age UK’s information on depression can help older men to start thinking about seeking support at

Always seek immediate help if you are having suicidal thoughts.

4. Heart Matters

The proportion of men who have a heart attack is almost three times as high as the proportion of women and what’s more, the prevalence of heart failure rises with age.

Check out Age UK’s Healthy Eating and Healthy Living guides for tips such as taking a look at food labels for traffic light colour-coding to help identify levels of energy, sugars, fat, saturated fat and salts in food. There is also a guide for eating healthy on a budget and an Eating Well guide.

Tips for Healthy living include staying active, drinking sensibly, getting enough sleep and giving up smoking.

In addition, we’re increasingly seeing that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain too.

5. Loneliness

Loneliness among older men is a growing problem in our society - especially for those with poor health. Almost a third of older men who have long-term health problems – that’s around half a million (550,000) men over the age of 65 in England – are lonely, according to research by Age UK.

Unfortunately, all the evidence shows that older men who live alone are more likely to be lonely than their female counterparts and to have less regular contact with family and friends, exacerbating feelings of loneliness. It is also thought that loneliness over the course of someone’s life increases the likelihood of death by 26%.

The Age UK Network helps provide support in a number of different ways to help relieve loneliness such as befriending services which can connect you with a volunteer who can visit your home or give you a regular call. You might want to consider
joining a friendship group.

This can be a good way to build new and meaningful friendships, and help you to regain your confidence. If you're missing the social connections you used to have through work, you could also consider
volunteering. Age UK has a number of opportunities and you can find out more here

Go to  where you’ll find a range of advice at your fingertips or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 6565 – lines are open every day from 8am - 7pm.

    Nairn's On The Go
Mini Cheese Oatcakes

Nairn's On The Go Mini Cheese Oatcakes

Introducing new Nairn's On The Go Mini Cheese Oatcakes, a tasty on-the-go snack, full of slow release energy to help fuel a busy day.

Packed with wholesome wholegrain oats and made with real cheese, Nairn's fibre-packed
On The Go Mini Cheese Oatcakes are made from simple, natural ingredients with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Whether it's a gym bag staple for a pre or post work-out bite, the answer to an afternoon craving or an emergency staple in your desk drawer or car, these portion sized bags of Nairn's On The Go Mini Cheese Oatcakes are a delicious, wholesome and naturally energising snack that can be eaten wherever the day takes you.

So rather than reaching for crisps, grab a bag of Nairn's On The Go Mini Cheese Oatcakes instead they're baked, have all the benefits of wholegrain oats at only 110 calories per pack, there's less to feel guilty about.

On The Go Mini Cheese Oatcakes are available from Sainsbury's for £1.59.

For details visit