As part of the 'Ageing Well Public Talk series' we are exploring how important it is, over our lifespan, to maintain a well-nutrition and hydration as well as regular physical, cognitive and social activity in the older age. The principles explored in this discussion are also known as the 'Five Pillars of Ageing Well'.
The way we age depends on decisions and behaviours we have been making throughout our lives.We start ageing the moment we are born. It just becomes more visible as we grow older. Although there is a widely used benchmark 65+ years as the age that signifies a person of older age, the way we age depends on decisions and behaviours we have been making throughout our lives.
With ageing naturally occurs muscle atrophy, which means that our muscles are decreasing in size/volume and we may become …and feel weaker. Being mindful of the 'Five Pillars of Ageing Well' we support our well-being and protecting the functions we don't want to lose for longer. This means we feel better, stronger, can enjoy being active, are less prone to falls and falls related injuries and in the end, we maintain our independence and better health for longer.
For the past 16 years I have been teaching clinicians, allied health professionals and the public, abroad as well as in the UK, on how to 'Age Well' using an easy model on 'Five Pillars of Ageing Well'. I have been presenting the ‘Ageing Well Public Talk' series in collaboration with Third Age University and Free Time University overseas & in the UK and more recently in collaboration with primary care practices in the UK.
The talks are focussing on optimising our physical and mental health and wellbeing while ageing, on empowering us to take the best care of our own health and become partners in our healthcare.I have been presenting the ‘Ageing Well ’ since 2005 to a number of audiences locally, nationally and internationally. These audiences include service users in a general practice in the UK, members of the public, third sector organisations and charities, practitioners, clinicians and allied health professionals; via face to face talks held at The Open University; online, in collaboration with Age UK MK, Public Health Northamptonshire, Carers MK, East of England Academic Health Science Network and the and Voluntary Health Scotland. Internationally these talks are delivered via an education platform for clinicians and allied health professionals in China through collaboration with UKeMED & Cambridge Medical Academy.
The overall aim of these series of talks is to facilitate a step change in user behaviour and support service provision. The talks are focussing on optimising our physical and mental health and wellbeing while ageing, on empowering us to take the best care of our own health and become partners in our healthcare.
The series and related materials, such as ‘The Five Pillars of Ageing Well’, became the cornerstones of further engagement with the public, specifically around COVID-19 and the relating self-isolation, which are now available on the Open University website and the Internet. It is expected this will have a wider impact in healthcare economies, as ageing and related co-morbidities have a substantial health and economic burden footprint. As people’s attitudes towards ‘The Five Pillars of Ageing Well’ change, for example exercising more, behaviours change too. When people in the community exercise more overall, we expect to see improved health and mental health outcomes. This leads to direct savings in health and social care resources.
The Ageing Well Public Talk Series are accessible:
- In person via Talks on The Open University campus
- Via ORDO Collections
- Via OpenLearn Create free course.
- COVID-19 Interview podcast for The Retirement Café: ‘Ageing Well Under Lockdown’