Healthy Ageing

​This page has been designed to give you some advice and tips on keeping yourself healthy as you age.  There is also some information on the Coronavirus Covid-19.

Please see the attached link that has a a practical guide to healthy ageing (Age UK and NHS) booklet   https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/a-practical-guide-to-healthy-ageing.pdf

Covid-19 guidance for people at higher risk from Coronavirus

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill but for some people the risk is higher, therefore these people are advised to shield.

The government shared information about shielding for the high risk groups.  That is people with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant and also for anyone that is over 70 years of age.

There are 2 levels of high risk groups:-

Clinically extremely vulnerable people (high risk)

  • You should have received a letter advising you if you are in this group or told by your GP or hospital clinician. Please see link above.

Clinically vulnerable people (moderate risk)

  • If you have a pre-existing health condition

Centre for Ageing Better and Ipsos Mori have surveyed people in their 50s and 60s to explore the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on their health and finance, for full detail please read here.  Some of the findings include:

  • 1/5 saw their physical health deteriorate
  • 1/3 say their mental health has worsened
  • More than half have had a medical or dental appointment delayed or cancelled
  • 37% have been drinking more alcohol
  • 39% have been smoking more
  • Nearly half believe their personal finances will worsen over the next year
  • 39% of those currently furloughed or of working age are confident they will be employed in the future

The full details can be read:

https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/news/lockdown-could-leave-next-generation-retirees-poorer-and-sicker-last

Staying at home and social distancing

If you are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group (high risk)

You many have seen that the Government as updated the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 and have been advised to shield.

If you are in the clinically vulnerable group (moderate risk)

If you're at moderate risk from coronavirus, you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising. But you should try to stay at home as much as possible.

It's very important you follow the general advice on social distancing, including staying at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with.

Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS.

For wider guidance on how to protect yourself and others, and actions to take if you think you have got the virus, please see guidance on this page that is updated regularly.

Healthy Ageing advice

Alcohol

'Many of us enjoy a drink now and then, perhaps with dinner or when watching TV, but drinking on most nights of the week can be harmful to your health' warns Age UK.  Drinking alcohol whilst taking medications (even over-the-counter medicines) can be dangerous too.  There's lots of advice and information online

Age UK – Alcohol advice 

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating/alcohol-advice/

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/

For help with alcohol problems: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/

Smoking
Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways causing a range of severe respiratory problems. The evidence clearly shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.  There has never been a better time to quit. 

Quit for Covid-19   https://www.todayistheday.co.uk/

Yorkshire Smoke Free  https://yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/  telephone 0800 612 0011 free from landlines or 03306601166 free from most mobiles

Keeping active

Moving more is always a good thing. Any activity – however small – will help you stay mobile, and able to do everyday tasks, for longer.  Taking part in physical activity will improve stamina, flexibility and balance and what's good for the body is good for the mind too.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-older-adults/

http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/Documents/sports-leisure/aspire%20at%20home/PHE%20Active%20at%20Home%20Booklet%2021%20May%20ELECTRONIC.pdf

Healthy eating – eat well

Eating well means you are more likely to feel healthier, stay active for longer and protect yourself against illness.  Enjoy a varied diet so that you can get all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy weight.  It's never too late to start eating healthy, and it doesn't have to be boring or expensive.  If you have access to a mobile look for the One You Easy Meals app for ideas.  The change4life website has some great ideas too.

https://www.nhs.uk/change4life

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/healthy-eating/

Looking after your mental health

Taking care of your mind and body is important.  You may feel low, worried or anxious or concerned about finances or your health.  It's important to remember that it is OK to feel this way, these feelings may pass for most.  There is lots of tips and advice to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing.  But remember to get further support if you feel you need it.

https://talking.turning-point.co.uk/wakefield/

https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/get-involved/live-well/mental-health-and-wellbeing/

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#TakeCareOfYourMentalHealthAndWellbeing

Eyes

The RNIB claims that sight loss is not an inevitable part of ageing, and there are lots of things people can do to protect their vision.  Wearing the right glasses (or contact lenses) and having regular eye tests can help keep eye healthy as we age.  They can also protect and identify conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, which can lead to blindness.

Eye tests are free for over 60's (every two years is recommenced).  Over 70's can have free annual checks.

Some things you can do to look after your eyes are:  stop smoking if you smoke, eat lots of fruit and vegetables and protect your eyes from the sun.

https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/health-care-and-advice/public-health/eye-health

Hearing

Most people will experience hearing loss as they get older in fact around 40% of people over 50 in the UK have some form of hearing loss.  Hearing loss can happen so gradually that you may not even notice the change.  Some signs that you have hearing loss are that you have to turn the TV volume up louder or you find it difficult to follow conversations.  Your GP can carry out some basic tests to check for temporary, treatable ear problems such as a build-up of ear wax or an ear infection.  You may be referred to an audiologist for a hearing assessment.  If an NHS assessment shows you would benefit from a hearing aid, then you are eligible for a free hearing aid.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/hearing-aids/

Healthy Heart

The NHS gives ten top healthy heart tips.  These include giving up smoking, getting active, managing weight, eating more fibre and cutting down on saturated fat.  There are some great tips on getting your 5 a day (fruit and veg). 

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/

Healthy Hearts

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts project

On this page healthcare professionals will find information that will help them support and deliver the project.

Access to services

Benefits

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support (Pension Age) Calculator

Use this calculator if you have reached pension age and want to check if you are entitled to council tax support:  The page gives advice about claiming housing benefit and universal credit too:

https://wakefield-calc.egovhub.net/HBCalculatorPaged/launch

State Pension

For advice on the State Pension, including National Insurance Contributions and, visit https://www.gov.uk/state-pension

Debt advice

The Council's Money Smart service is working with WDH Cash Wise to provide a 'one stop shop; that can offer advice on many issues including:

State benefits

Mortgage payments

Rent Payment

Debt

Personal budgeting

To find out more, contact WDH's Cash Wise team by calling 01977 724651, emailing cashwise@wdh.co.uk or visiting the website here.

Benefits – what am I entitled to?

Age UK has an online benefits calculator which can tell you if you are potentially entitled to claim extra money.  They can check all the following benefits: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/benefits-calculator/

Useful links

Age UK                                              https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/

Alzheimer's Society                         https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

Carers UK                                         https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-mental-wellbeing

Live Well Wakefield                         https://www.livewellwakefield.nhs.uk/

Carers Wakefield                             https://www.carerswakefield.org.uk/

Every Mind Matters                          https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/

Mind                                                   https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#TakeCareOfYourMentalHealthAndWellbeing

NHS Mental Health Webpage       https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/get-involved/live-well/mental-health-and-wellbeing/

Centre for Ageing Better                 https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/news/lockdown-could-leave-next-generation-retirees-poorer-and-sicker-last

Covid Lifting Lockdown – tips from a GP

This document aims to provide balanced, culturally informed advice on returning to the 'new normal' safely that is sensitive and reflects peoples lived experiences.

Staying connected

It has become more important than ever to stay connected with friends, family and take on any support that you have been offered. 

This document shares information about phones, internet bills and staying connected.  

Contact us

Health Improvement

Wakefield One
Burton Street
Wakefield
WF1 2EB