By 2030 the number of people in the UK aged 60 or over is estimated to increase to 20 million.
Older People’s Day, celebrated on 1 October each year, celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and aims to tackle negative attitudes and stereotypes.
The Guide to Healthy Ageing, developed by NHS England, in partnership with Age UK, Public Health England, and the Chief Fire Officer’s Association with older people themselves, is designed to help people stay well for longer, by providing hints and tips on how to keep fit and independent.
It recognises that there is always something we can do to improve our health and wellbeing. For older people who may be starting to find things more difficult to do, it is particularly important to take active steps to slow down or reverse some of the health challenges we are all likely to face.
To help people understand their potential risk of living with frailty, the guide includes a simple, walking speed test. Taking more than five seconds to cover a distance of four metres is highly indicative of frailty, with the proviso that there is no obvious alternative reason for walking slowly such as a previous stroke or knee/hip arthritis. This is not meant to be a diagnosis, but it can provide a good indication that someone should consider making changes to their daily lives so that they can better manage their frailty or reduce the chance of it becoming more serious.