Isle of Wedmore News – May 2021

Sun, sounds, support and smiles!

2 – 9 May is Sun Awareness Week. The month of May can be sunny and warm. We will all be very ready to be out there soaking up the rays after our months of staying at home! Not only does It feel good, but it also helps our bodies to make our own Vitamin D, which is a valuable bonus.  However we need to stay safe in the sun. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and rates continue to rise. In fact, UV exposure is the main preventable cause of skin cancer. It’s very important to protect ourselves and our family from the sun. Here are the key reminders to staying safe in the sun. Cover up and wear a hat; wear sunglasses with good quality lenses that filter out the UV; use sunscreen, SPF 30+; find some shade whenever possible, but especially in the middle of the day, between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest. Always keep babies and toddlers in the shade if you can.

REMEMBER – IF IN DOUBT, CHECK IT OUT! Most skin cancers can be cured if detected early. About once a month, check your skin for moles or marks that are changing or new. This is especially important if you are at increased risk of skin cancer. Tell your doctor about any changes to a mole or patch of skin, or a new mole or mark on adult skin. Examining marks and moles for changes on a regular basis is recommended. There is an App which you can download to help you monitor any changes, new bumps, moles or lesions on the skin. For more information and to download the App go to the British Skin Foundation website – here

4 -9 May is Deaf Awareness Week. The aims are to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of hearing loss and deafness across the UK. This year, Deaf Awareness Week is focusing on highlighting the support, information and new technology available to help with hearing loss and deafness. One in five adults in the UK is deaf or has hearing loss. Every day, you’re likely to meet someone who is deaf or has some level of hearing loss. There are 12 million people affected in the UK, and they all face different communication challenges that can lead to frustration and loneliness. So, if you meet someone who is deaf or has hearing loss, ask them what you can do to make communication easier. People who rely on facial expressions and lip-reading to communicate are finding communication especially difficult during the pandemic, when we are wearing masks so much of the time. There are various forms of useful technology which can help, for example speech-to-text (STT) Apps. Find out more – here
1 – 8 May is ‘Time for a Cuppa’ and 17-23 May is Dementia Action awareness week. People with dementia, their carers and loved ones have had a very tough year. Their usual support networks have been decimated by the ‘stay at home’ policy. So now, with lockdown easing, we hope, it is time to invite our neighbours and friends for a cuppa, outside of course. We can enjoy our cuppa and cake and make a donation to these charities – a win-win situation! Go to the websites for Dementia UK and Alzheimers UK for tips on making your tea party special and how to donate – here
May is National Smile Month! Seeing a smiling face helps us smile. Good oral health has many benefits, not only for our mouth but our overall wellbeing too. Taking good care of oral health goes far beyond keeping our teeth and gums healthy.  It also improves our quality of life. In recent years, poor oral health, specifically gum disease, has been linked with a number of general health conditions, which may be caused by or made worse by poor oral health including, for example, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, giving birth to a premature or low-birth-weight baby, respiratory (lung) disease. So keep smiling in National Smile month!  For more information on good oral health and how to keep smiling this month go to the dental health websites – here

Axbridge and Wedmore Medical Practice

Guidance and information about COVID-19 change frequently. To keep up to date check out the practice website www.axbridgeandwedmoremedicalpractice.nhs.uk

Cathy Butterworth

On behalf of Wedmore Health & Wellbeing Project