Across the world, people are living longer. A baby girl born in the UK today can expect to live to the age of 83; for a boy, it is 79.
This increase in the number of people living longer can be seen as a public health success story. Yet although populations are living longer, many of these additional years are spent in ill health.
Many people have a limiting long-term health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, arthritis and dementia. Many of these conditions are linked to lifestyle and behaviours that can be changed.
One of the major challenges across the country is how to enable our increasingly older population to continue to live active, independent and fulfilled lives. It is no different in the Dover district. We are already working through a range of services and partnerships to improve services, choice, and be more responsive to older people’s needs.
Staying fit and healthy
There are many small changes you can make to your lifestyle to stay fit and healthy, such as:
- Keeping active to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as reducing the risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia.
- Eating healthily: Eating a balanced and nutritious diet controls your weight and can help you fight off illnesses.
- Staying warm at home: A cold home can lead to serious health problems. There are schemes and grants to help you make changes to your home, to improve its energy efficiency and environmental impact - please see Kent County Council's Energy grants and support.
- Getting the flu jab: People over 65 or with long term health conditions can be severely affected by the flu and are eligible for a free vaccination. There are also other vaccinations available - please see NHS vaccinations and when to have them.
A practical guide to healthy ageing: The advice in this booklet, published by Age UK and the NHS, will help improve the health and general fitness of people of any age, but it is written to be particularly relevant for people who are about 70 years or older.
Support in the district
There are many groups and organisations providing services, activities and support in the Dover district. Good sources of information include:
Improving awareness and understanding of dementia within our communities.
There are many things that you can do to help prevent falls and fractures.