The Pennine GP Alliance have published a very useful guide to the Ageing Well Team and the advice they offer to older people:
You can download a copy here: Ageing Well Team Leaflet
Or read the main contents here:
In Calderdale we have more than 40,000 people aged over 65 years. Calderdale Council’s Ageing Well Team help to support this group of people. They take a proactive approach to providing person-centred care, helping you to age well within your
own home. They take an all-round approach looking at your physical, mental, and social wellbeing and ensuring that they focus on what matters to you.
The Ageing Well Team is made up of a Specialist Health Care Practitioner from a Nursing or Therapy background, Social Prescribing Link Workers, Care Co-ordinators, and Clinical Pharmacy Team. The team work closely with Primary Care, Secondary Care, Local Authority and Voluntary Organisations to streamline and improve co-ordination of patient care.
They aim to:
• Reduce GP visits and appointments
• Reduce hospital admissions and length of stay (where applicable)
• Reduce falls
• Improve medication management
• Reduce loneliness
• Increase health confidence and patient activation
• Improve wellbeing
The Team campaign focuses on promoting health around Eat – Move – Sleep – Connect, vital aspects to Ageing Well, along with The Calderdale Vision “Older People have strong social networks and live in vibrant communities”
Maintaining a balanced diet can help keep both physical and mental health issues at bay.
The NHS Eatwell Guide to maintaining a healthy diet recommends the following:
• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (these can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried).
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrain versions where possible
• Have some dairy or daily alternatives (such as soya drinks and yoghurts)
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat, and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts
• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day
• Avoid foods that contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar or eat this type of food less often and in small amounts.
Remember, one person’s nutritional needs can be very different from another’s. It is about finding a balance that is enjoyable, manageable, and sustainable for you.
If you having difficulties making your own meals, or have concerns about your weight, whether this be weight loss or weight gain, healthcare professionals are available to help tailor a support plan to meet your needs. Weight loss is not just a sign of getting older, so it is always important to seek advice.
Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. As we age, muscles, bones and joints undergo changes that affect mobility, and our independence. Some of the first visible signs of our muscles changing may be changes to posture and the way we walk, as well as fatigue and general weakness doing everyday tasks.
Benefits from being more active include:
• Reducing falls risk by helping to strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your balance
• Lowering your risk of developing health conditions including obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis
• Improving your mood
• Improved sleep
• Increased energy levels
• Helping to maintain your independence for longer
• Lessen aches and pains
• Maintain your ability to go out and access services in the community
The government guidelines recommend that older adults do 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week as well as strengthening exercises twice a week and balance exercises once a week. If this sounds like a lot, start small and build up gradually.
REMEMBER EVERY STEP COUNTS!
The different health care teams, including the Ageing Well Team, are here to support you. They will complete an assessment with you about your needs and then create a personalised care and support plan tailored to you. This may include advice on how to reduce falls, increase activity levels, give strength and balance exercises, signpost to local exercise or walking groups, and advise on equipment and adaptations if required to assist you to mobilise safely.
Most adults need around 8 hours sleep each night. Poor sleep quality can leave
you feeling tired and grumpy and can also influence your level of concentration,
mood, and increase your risk of falls.
Things that can be done to improve sleep quality include:
• Reduce bedroom distractions such as mobile phones, cats, televisions
• Avoid substances that discourage sleep – such as caffeine late in the day and alcohol
• Having a good bedtime routine
Being worried, low, or out of sorts are not just part and parcel of getting older – they are important signs that you are not feeling as well as you should be. Loneliness and isolation can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical
health and wellbeing. Getting involved in social activities can be a good way to reduce these feelings and maintain social connections.
Unsure what is available in your area?
The Social Prescribing Link Workers linked to your GP practice can help link you in with groups that would be of interest to you. However, if going to social groups is not for you then the team can help you explore ways of keeping your mind occupied at home. If mobility is the reason for not being able to leave the house, then the Ageing Well Team can assess and advise on ways to improve your mobility and help you to access community transport links to enable you to attend events. Telephone and face to face befriending services are also available.
Pride can often be a reason people do not admit to feeling lonely or seek support so why not call a friend today and have a chat, as you never know who might be feeling lonely or isolated.
Looking after your health is not just limited to the areas above it is also important to consider your mental health, lifestyle choices, medicine management, memory, foot care, eyes, ears and oral health to name a few. Please speak to your GP if you would like further support around Ageing Well. They can arrange for a member of the team to contact you to discuss an assessment.