Skip to main content

Staying active for health in old age

The evidence clearly shows that maintaining an active life keeps older people healthier.   Thus, the more we invest as a society and communities helping older people stay fit and active, the less strain it would place on our overstretched health services.

 It is just simple common sense.  Maintaining a healthy life in old age should be based on more than a cocktail of drugs.

In England, we spend around £18-20 billion annually on medicines.  With an average growth of about 5% per year, this is set to go up and up.

Spending on resources for the elderly to keep active in their communities would pay massive dividends.  

This is why we must invest in local infrastructure to help older people remain active.  This requires not just facilities at particular locations but also decent transport to enable older people to access them.

Such an approach would be supported by the evidence.  

Physically active older adults benefit from reduced risks of early death, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.

These findings come from a review of all published studies that assessed the relationship between physical activity and health in adults aged 60 years or older.

The review, which is published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, also found that physically active older adults experience healthier ageing trajectories, better quality of life, and improved cognitive functioning.

Lead author of the review, Dr Conor Cunningham of the Institute of Public health in Ireland says:

“For some time, we have known of the benefits of physical activity for our physical health; however, what is important about this research is that it highlights compelling emerging evidence of the positive effects of being physically active on our mental health—including depression, cognition, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Prioritising people in nursing care.

There has been in recent years concern that care in the NHS has not been sufficiently 'patient centred', or responsive to the needs of the patient on a case basis. It has been felt in care that it as been the patient who has had to adapt to the regime of care, rather than the other way around. Putting patients at the centre of care means being responsive to their needs and supporting them through the process of health care delivery.  Patients should not become identikit sausages in a production line. The nurses body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has responded to this challenge with a revised code of practice reflection get changes in health and social care since the previous code was published in 2008. The Code describes the professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Four themes describe what nurses and midwives are expected to do: prioritise people practise effectively preserve safety, and promote professionalism and trust. The

When Finance Drives Destruction

Tackling climate change means stopping the funding of rainforest destruction, says a significant study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund.  The UK's financial services have provided directly over £8.7 billion to 167 different traders, processors, and buyers of forest-risk commodities (cocoa, rubber, timber, soy, beef, palm oil, pulp & paper) from 2013 to 2021.   With direct and indirect investment,  the figure rises to a staggering £200 bn.  Whilst not all that investment is in destructive projects,  the study concludes there is little transparency on the risk.  Finance is the oil in the economic machine.  But it also drives decisions. We all know the importance of money. We borrow to invest. So much depends on it, such as company pensions.  Do we really know what our pension pots are doing? We invest for the future. But what kind of future? Is all investment good?  Much investment is bad. Investment drives the nature of our economy. It drives our decisions as individuals,