February 2019: Healthy Ageing

What is "Healthy Ageing"?

As we get older our lives change as do our health risks and needs. Healthy ageing is about continuing to do the things we enjoy for as long as possible.

There a number of ways in which we can prepare for and manage these changes to ensure that we are able to continue living healthy and happy lives; carry on reading to learn more about the services available to us.

Staying Active

It's important to try and remain active, even as we get older. Official NHS guidance suggests that we should try to maintain at least 150 minutes of physical activity over the course of a week. The easiest way to keep active is to do something which you enjoy such as sports, gardening or walking which have a number of benefits including mental well-being. 

Avoiding Falls

Falls and accidents at home can have a lasting impact such as injury or long term care, therefore it's important to do everything we can to minimise this risk. Poor vision, medication and trip hazards around the home can all be addressed to reduce the probability of having a fall. Despite what many people think, falls can often be prevented and should not be accepted as an inevitable part of getting older. The Kingston Falls Prevention Service offers free assessments and interventions to help reduce the risk of falling.

Please call if you, or someone you care for, have experienced any of the following:

  • Stumbling or falling over regularly - even if you don't hurt yourself.

  • Being frightened of falling at home or when you are out.

  • Feeling less confident on your feet.

To make a referral or to get more information please call 020 8274 7088. You can also visit the Yourhealthcare website.

Bone Health

If you are over 50 and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, or are at risk of osteoporosis, you may be eligible for a free group exercise and self management programme to improve your bone health and reduce your risk of fragility fractures in the future. All residents over 50 can have an initial assessment of their bone health, and you are likely to be eligible for the programme if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis.

  • You have had a previous fracture after a minor bump or fall.

  • You had early menopause (before 45 years).

  • You have rheumatoid arthritis.

  • You have a family history of osteoporosis or hip fracture.

  • You regularly take oral steroids.

  • You smoke or consume more than three units of alcohol per day.

Osteoarthritis Programme

If you are over 45 and have osteoarthritis of the knee you could benefit from a free local 12 week programme and gain an understanding of how to maintain healthy joints and strong muscles. For more information or to sign up to the Better Bones Service, contact the team on 030 0123 8086 or email [email protected]

NHS Health Checks

NHS Health Checks are offered from all GP surgeries and two pharmacies in Kingston (ACE and Laurel). It is for ages 40- 74 years who are at risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke and diabetes and atrial fibrillation. 

Fuel Poverty Prevention Service / Thinking Works

Are you:

  • Over 65?

  • Over 50 with a long term health condition?

  • Living in a cold home?

  • Experiencing high fuel bills?

Thinking Works provides free home visits including basic health screening and a review of how to make your home more energy efficient. In addition, the service offers free help to:

  • Get heating and insulation grants and loans from Kingston Council.

  • Show you ways to make your home warmer.

  • Show you how to reduce fuel bills.

  • Tell you about other services like your local Handy Person.

  • Install free devices to help you save on your water and energy use.

To book your free visit, call freephone 0800 118 2327.

Connected Kingston

A wide range of organisations that provide healthy ageing services is listed on Connected Kingston which is dedicated to helping Kingston residents find local activities and navigate local services. It is run by the Royal Borough of Kingston Council and Kingston Voluntary Action in conjunction with local charities and statutory organisations.