Maintaining Independence and Wellbeing

Maintaining Independence and Wellbeing

As we age, it is common to have a growing number of health issues. This can happen gradually and we may notice it takes us longer to do household chores, walk to the shops and we may start feeling a bit unsteady on our feet. Over time, this can affect our ability to bounce back after an illness or other stressful events, as well as our ability to live independently or keep in touch with family and friends.

We cannot stop the ageing process, but the advice given in this NHS Guide to Healthy Ageing, will help to keep you fit and independent.

Protection from scams and fraud

Elderly and vulnerable people are particularly likely to receive scam mail and telephone calls encouraging them to part with their money or hand over bank details, which can lead to financial devastation.

For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, please click on the following links:

Loneliness in older people

Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are lonely and cut off from society in this country, especially those over the age of 75. This means that older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which can have a serious effect on health. However, there are ways to overcome loneliness, even if you live alone and find it hard to get out.

People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older or weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, the deaths of spouses and friends, or through disability or illness.

Whatever the cause, it's easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing. Someone who is lonely probably also finds it hard to reach out. There is a stigma surrounding loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride.

It's important to remember loneliness can, and does, affect anyone, of any age. There are many ways for older people to connect with others, and feel useful and appreciated again.

Find out more about loneliness in older people on the website.

Preventing falls

Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more vulnerable and likely to fall, especially if they have a long-term health condition.

A fall can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they have lost their independence.

The natural ageing process means that older people have an increased risk of having a fall. In the UK, falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75.

For more detailed information on how to prevent a fall, go to the website.

Useful links and support

  • Action for Carers Surrey - A registered charity who are there to help unpaid carers of all ages, right across Surrey, with information, support and advice.
  • Active Surrey - Helping people to become happier and healthier through exercise.
  • Age UK - How to reduce your risk of falling.
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy - Falls prevention exercises.
  • Healthwatch Surrey - An independent organisation, which gives people in Surrey a strong voice to help improve, shape and get the best from local health and social care services.
  • Healthy Surrey - Self-care information to help you lead a healthier life, whether you want to be more active, drink less alcohol, stop smoking and more.
  • ROSPA - Watch a video from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents on how to get up safely after a fall.
  • Support Finder - an online service that helps disabled people to find the support and services they need in their local community and also enables PAs to find work. The easy to use and accessible website allows people to list their support requirements, availability for work and the support they can offer and then users can either be matched with others who meet their needs or they can search the site independently for them.
  • Surrey Community Action Find a Good Neighbour Scheme - Voluntary car schemes are available to help the elderly and vulnerable to access hospital appointments and collect prescriptions.
  • Surrey Information Point - Information about local services available to you.
  • Surrey Information Point Getting around - Information about public transport, help with travel costs and community transport schemes.