Medical Professionals Online

Keeping Older People Fit And Healthy - Older People's Prevention Package, UK

June 11, 2017

Simple measures such as good footcare, sight tests and light exercise can help older people live better, Care Service Minister Phil Hope said as he launched the Older People's Prevention Package.

The package sets out how preventing health problems before they occur can help older people live better and healthier lives. It is part of the government's ageing strategy Building a Society for All Ages.

The prevention package will:

- promote best practice around falls prevention and effective fracture management;
- introduce measures to improve access to affordable footcare services;
- clearly set out health 'entitlements' including sight tests, flu vaccination and cancer screening; and
- summarise existing progress on audiology and telecare services.

Additional services will be incorporated into the prevention package over time, including continence care, treatment for depression, and arthritis.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

"In people over 65, falls are one of the main reasons for hospital admission. Very simple measures -good footcare and mending wobbly chairs - can prevent an elderly person from falling over and developing serious problems such as a broken leg. No one wants to become dependent on others as they get older.

"This prevention package will ensure that older people can stay fit and healthy for much longer so that they can live fulfilled independent lives in their retirement."

Alex Mair, Chief Executive British Geriatrics Society (BGS) said:

"Older people are the main users of health and social care services. As specialists in providing integrated medical care for older people, we are fully supportive of all preventative measures which result in better health in old age.

"This prevention package highlights a range of best practice examples. It signposts measures which can be undertaken to reduce the hospitalisation of older people, and their need for long term care, by maximising their ability to lead independent lives."

Dr Finbarr Martin, Acting National Clinical Director for Older People said:

"This prevention package is about raising the expectations of older people about what their local services can do to help prevent unnecessary loss of mobility and independence. For the NHS, this means making sure that effective services are commissioned and reliably provided for common problems like falls, fractures and loss of hearing."

Department of Health, UK