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.
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 nhs.uk website.
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A fall can cause the person to lose confidence, become withdrawn and feel as if they have lost their independence.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 nhs.uk website.
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:
- Rogue traders scams and cold callers (via Surrey County Council website)
- Age UK advice