A revolution is underway to enable people to live longer better, reduce the need for health and social care and reverse the effects of lockdown through the Living Longer Better network in Tees Valley.
The number of people over 80 is going to increase significantly in the next ten years with little increase in healthy life expectancy in prospect. This has huge implications for health and social care services. It doesn’t have to be this way. The evidence is strong that the incidence of the major causes of disability and dependency can be prevented or delayed, compressing the period at the end of life when we are heavily dependent on others. More of the same won’t achieve this. A revolution is underway. Already about 20 million of the population are supported by networks of AgeUK, the Active Partnerships, the NHS, Local Authorities and the business community. These networks all focus on the same objectives of the system for living longer better, which are to:
The Living Longer Better Programme is supported primarily by the Active Partnerships of Sport England. It is population based and its aim is not only to prevent the problems that have hitherto been blamed entirely on the ageing process, notably frailty and dementia, but also to provide a therapeutic programme enabling increased activity – physical, cognitive and emotional – for people who already have one or more long term conditions, including dementia and frailty.
Living Longer Better complements and supplements the Ageing Well programme of NHS England. The Ageing Well programme takes a systematic approach to identifying all the people with frailty, or at high risk of developing frailty, and ensuring the NHS clinical teams, particularly in primary care, take effective, evidence-based action to prevent deterioration and unnecessary hospital admission, because of the adverse effect that has on people with frailty no matter how high the quality of care in the hospital.
The Live Longer Better programme has three aims.
The first is to increase activity (physical, cognitive and emotional) which will:
The second is to increase healthy life expectancy and compress the period of dependency.
The third is to reduce the need for health and social care because a person with greater strength, stamina, skill and suppleness has greater resilience and is less likely to need acute care.
The main intervention to achieve the goal of the revolution is not technological, although it is enabled by technology. Rather, the goal will be achieved through learning that opens up new ways of thinking for older people, the family, professionals and volunteers who support them, and the leadership of key decision makers. Our learning programme is based on the best current knowledge and delivered through online learning in small interactive groups.