How do I stay healthy?
How do I keep active?
How do I keep my mind in shape so that I enjoy a good quality of life for longer?
These are critical questions that span a lifetime and naturally become a little more important as we age. In this series of the Ageing Well Public Talks, we explore some answers together.
I am Dr Jitka Vseteckova, Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care with the Open University, and I am the creator of the Ageing Well Public Talk Series. The series is the outcome of collaborative work between academia, research and members of the public who have all contributed to the content as well as to the success of the series. The Series establishes Participatory Public Engagement as the main vehicle for delivery and impact.
This resource brings and translates the evidence to the lay people and enables them to make lifestyle choices that can make them live longer and healthier lives.
You can learn more here about how the series provide a platform for collaboration between researchers, clinicians, practitioners and people in the community.
The Ageing Well Public Talk Series started in 2019 as face-to-face gatherings with accompanying online material. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have produced several resources linking to keeping well under lockdown that were safe for all to attend and although we are all hoping to be able to gather again and discuss how we can live healthy and happier lives, these online resources exist and can be accessed via the links at the end of this article.
The Ageing Well Public Talk Series is a public health intervention that aims to facilitate a step change in our behaviour – in other words how populations understand ageing and what they can change in their everyday lives to support healthier lives when this is needed. As a public health intervention, Ageing Well Public Talk Series has the potential to make an impact on health and social care economies via the expected reduction of preventable disease, and support the management of chronic as well as acute biomedical as well as psychosocial conditions via behaviour change.
The Ageing Well Public Talk Series is an educational intervention, based on The Five Pillars for Ageing Well, and tailored to inform and engage diverse communities. This is of particular significance in multicultural societies and for maintaining equality in the provision of opportunities to age well.
The talks have so far been popular with hundreds having attended the face-to-face sessions and over 25,000 having watched and engaged with the online material. You can access each of the Ageing Well Public Talk Series via the ORDO Collections - follow the links below the article. The feedback we received so far highlights the value of these talks in increasing people’s knowledge and contributing to changes in behaviour which is the main motivation to keep updating, improving, co-facilitating and delivering these talks and reaching to as many people as possible. This does matter because learning should be accessible to everyone and as the Ageing Well Public Talk Series grow, we are, with all people involved in the co-production of the AWPT Series, in a position to widen the reach and impact of the resource.
We are aware that the people who we do not reach (and perhaps very few other interventions do, if any) are those who may need the intervention the most. Well, perhaps there is no such thing as hard to reach groups, as diversity is a longstanding reality in our communities, and for that reason we are continuously investing time and resources to understand as many as possible and create messages that can be followed by most.
It has been a rewarding experience working closely with members of the public, academic and clinical colleagues, stakeholders, charities and other governmental and non-governmental organisations, nationally and internationally, and we are delighted that we make this co-created, useful resource available to all.
The Ageing Well Public Talk Series are accessible:
- In person via Talks on The Open University campus
- Via ORDO Collections - 2019/2020, 2020/2021 & 2021/2022
- COVID-19 Interview podcast for The Retirement Café: ‘Ageing Well Under Lockdown’