October 1st 2020 marked the United Nations 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP).
The UN reports that in 2019 there were 703 million people over the age of 65. 200 million of these people are in Europe and Northern America.
It is predicted that over the next 30 years this number will increase by 48%. In other parts of the world where the rate of people over 65 is less, this increase is predicted to be 218 %.
For the first time in history people across the world can expect to live well into their sixties and beyond. This represents much greater opportunities to pursue leisure activities such as sport, arts, or further education. Perhaps even a second career!
With more active grandparents, the younger generation may benefit from more help with childcare. There will also be more opportunities for help in the wider community which can often enable us to feel connected, valued and have a greater purpose in our life.
Maintaining good health into later years
The World Health Organisation 2018 reports “There is, however, little evidence to suggest that older people today are experiencing their later years in better health than their parents. While rates of severe disability have declined in high-income countries over the past 30 years, there has been no significant change in mild to moderate disability over the same period.”
It is therefore very important that we maintain the quality of our health during the extended years of later life.
It may be useful to think of ourselves as a very well loved and useful car which has served us well over the years. We of course know that to ensure that the car continues to remain safe to drive and runs well we need regular servicing at the garage. This keeps us on the road. Independent and free to go and do exactly what we want any time we need. We wouldn’t want to wait until we had broken down on the motorway feeling scared and distressed to fix all the problems which had been building up.
Using this analogy when we think about our own health for the long term may be useful. We need to do everything in our power to keep our bodies fit and active. This can be with a healthy diet, maintaining a stable weight so as not to put our bodies under stress, avoiding smoking and limiting our alcohol intake. These things will limit our likelihood of developing diabetes and obesity which are both predisposing factors to other health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Can physiotherapy help with ageing?
Of course, it can’t stop you from ageing but it can help by reducing specific and chronic pain. A physiotherapist can advise on an exercise programme to suit your needs and lifestyle.
This in turn, can promote strong bones, improve balance and muscle strength. The risk of falling increases as we get older and strength training to maintain muscle mass can reduce your risks.
Physiotherapy may help if you are suffering from common pains in your shoulders, neck hip or back. It can also assist you following a knee or hip replacement.
If you have any newly diagnosed conditions such as Arthritis, Parkinsons or heart conditions, advice can be given in management and learning new ways of moving to maintain mobility, save energy and reduce pain.
If you would like any more information on how physiotherapy might help you please contact us today. We have both online physiotherapy and face-to-face appointments available. We have private physiotherapy clinics in Lewisham, Leyton and Southend on Sea.
Contact our Lewisham clinic based at Anytime
Fitness Birdwood Avenue Lewisham SE13 6UR.
Visit our physiotherapists based at our Leyton clinic -
300 High Road, Leyton, E10 5PW.
Find us at 36 Eastern
Esplanade, Southend, Essex, SS1 2ES.