At Roar, whilst the majority of our services are focused on reaching older adults aged 65 and up, we were saddened to read about the number of people over the age of 50 who are facing challenges we might see more often in service users like ours.
Age UK's research highlights some of the key challenges;
- 31% (around 8 million) say that their health had got worse over the previous 12 months.
- 58% (around 14.9 million) were not confident that their health would improve in future.
- 35% (around 9 million) agreed they can't walk as far as they did 12 months previously.
- 31% (around 8 million) told us that they feel more anxious than 12 months previously.
- 47% (around 12.1 million) were concerned about their ability to see a GP in person.
- 26% (around 6.7 million) were rarely or never leaving their homes for social contact.
- 18% (around 4.6 million) had been skipping meals over the previous 12 months, as a result of the cost of living increases
With an ageing population in the UK, we may see more and more older people facing these challenges, particularly with the 'pre-retirement' group often having their own parents still to care for and support, both physically and financially.
It is of the utmost importance that these challenges are acknowledged in our own community, and that we take the steps to prevent such figures arising at a local level.
At Roar, we have been tackling exactly this over the past year:
58% (around 14.9 million) were not confident that their health would improve in future.
31% (around 8 million) told us that they feel more anxious than 12 months previously.
31% (around 8 million) say that their health had got worse over the previous 12 months.
- Our Stronger For Longer programme successfully works with individuals to improve their confidence, strength and balance to enable them to get out of their home more, meaning they are less isolated and more confident in their ability to live independently and look after their own health.
- Confidence gained through our experienced team just LISTENING to you or your older relative supports them to take the next steps back into socialising and enjoying a healthy later life.
35% (around 9 million) agreed they can't walk as far as they did 12 months previously.
- With walking exercises making up a large part of our Otago Strength and balance classes, we are confident that if you ask our attendees, they will tell you (and even show you!) that their overall mobility has improved since joining and that consistent attendance and dedication has resulted in increased activity levels and wellbeing.
26% (around 6.7 million) were rarely or never leaving their homes for social contact.
- Our array of Health & Wellbeing clubs across Renfrewshire are the home of love, laughter and social contact, with over 300 older adults coming out to join us each week. From walking through the door of that community centre or church, our members have told us the welcomed with open arms and have since returned week on week. Most of our first-timers don’t know a soul to begin with, but attending each week has opened their social circle and brought them a new lease of life when they needed it the most.
18% (around 4.6 million) had been skipping meals over the previous 12 months, as a result of the cost of living increases
- Seven of our Health & Wellbeing clubs offer a nutritious lunch each week, meaning our members can enjoy what might be their only shared meal of the week. There’s such a special meaning to sharing a meal with others.
- We have also been working alongside Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau to increase the income of older adults in our community. So far, this wonderful partnership has resulted in over £80,000 in additional income.
You can read more about the Age UK findings via the download on this page or by visiting Age UK at: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/articles/2024/new-report-from-age-uk-reveals-the-enormous-challenges-millions-of-older-people-face-this-winter/ -