‘Beauty surrounds, health abounds’ are the words on the Morecambe crest and to many represents what Morecambe is about. These words also perfectly summarise key elements of our Heaton with Oxcliffe Parish Plan, including initiatives and support that help individuals to improve their health and maintain the natural beauty of our local area. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ and sets out actions known as the Five Ways to Wellbeing that can increase life expectancy by 7.5 years simply by taking your health into your own hands. These actions are:
- Connect with the people around you. Think of these as the cornerstone of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day;
- Be Active: Play a game; get out in the garden; dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity that you enjoy; one that suits your level of mobility and fitness;
- Take Notice: Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters;
- Keep Learning: Try something new. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident, as well as being fun to do;
- Give: Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Volunteer. Join a community group. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
Lancashire County Council, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the early signs of dementia and to encourage people to visit their GP for a memory check. The campaign is aimed at friends and relatives who may have noticed changes in the memory or behaviour of someone they know, to help them spot the signs and start a conversation. There are currently over 10,000 people in Lancashire who have been diagnosed with dementia, but it is estimated that the actual number of people with the condition is much higher. These are people who may have dementia but are not aware of it and therefore are not getting support to help them live well with the condition. For more information, advice and support visit http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/dementia.