Healthy ageing and caring approaches


Encourage healthy ageing and caring with signposting to keeping active, engaged and independent, including access to frailty friendly living and homes.

We can consider healthy ageing ‘as the promotion of healthy living and the prevention and management of illness and disability associated with ageing’ [9]. A person’s well-being could be explored across the following domains: resilience, independence, health, income and wealth, and having a role and having time [10]. We know community connectivity through social interaction is crucial to enable people to live meaningful lives. Therefore, a person’s environment is fundamental to successful healthy ageing.

The following are examples of what to consider when thinking about healthy ageing

  • Influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination
  • Adequate treatment for ‘minor conditions’ which may limit independence
  • Life-course approaches: regular exercise, not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, healthy eating and preventing obesity
  • Housing right for older people
  • Cold weather planning
  • National screening programmes

The following are examples of what you should consider when thinking about healthy caring

  • Seek help and support from others (e.g. services, associations)
  • Seek an assessment for your own health and care needs
  • Look after your own health and wellbeing  (e.g. understand health conditions)
  • Taking a break
  • Making better use of technology
  • Preparing for the end of caring



  • Nutritional intervention is proposed widely to be an important component of frailty management, while inadequate nutritional intake is an important modifiable risk factor for frailty.
  • Diet is less extensively investigated, but a suboptimal protein/total calorie intake and vitamin D insufficiency have both been implicated in frailty. There is emerging evidence that frailty increases in the presence of obesity particularly in the context of other unhealthy behaviours such as inactivity, a poor diet and smoking.
  • Sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for developing frailty.   Exercise can improve physical performance and reduce physical frailty. Exercise in frail older people is effective and relatively safe, and may reverse frailty
  • Physical activity improves gait speed but has no consistent effect on balance, ADL, functional mobility or quality of life
  • Resistance, functional and balance training appear to have significant positive effects on physical fitness outcomes, ADL and quality of life in older people with frailty living in care homes.  Benefits include:
    • Helps maintain cognitive function
    • Reduces cardiovascular risk
    • Helps maintain ability to carry out daily living activities
    • Improved mood and can improve self-esteem
    • Reduces the risk of falls
  • Volunteering: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that formal volunteering to be worth almost £24billion per year
    • Foster, R. Household Satellite Accounts: Valuing Voluntary Activity in the UK. London: Office for National Statistics; 2013.
  • Housing: A recent report suggests that inadequate housing is costing the NHS £1.4billion a year, but this only takes the poorest 15% of housing stock in England into consideration and does not include any mental health issues associated with inadequate housing. Significant numbers of physical accidents, respiratory and mental health conditions can be directly attributed to poor quality housing.
  • Healthy Caring

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