Update: Due to the developing situation with COVID-19 and the emerging advice from the OU the last two in the series of public talks by Jitka Vseteckova have been postponed to a rescheduled date later on in the year. We will post a further update as soon as we can.
As part of the ‘Ageing Well Public Talk Series’ we are exploring how important it is, over our lifespan, to maintain well-balanced nutrition and hydration as well as regular physical and social activity in the older age, also known as the ‘Five Pillars of Ageing Well’. As we know we start ageing the moment we are born. It demonstrates more significantly when we reach a certain age, the usual benchmark being 65+, but our ageing starts much sooner and the way ageing demonstrates when we are over 65 depends on decisions we have been making over our life span.
With ageing naturally occurs muscle atrophy, which means that our muscles are decreasing in size/volume. We may become and feel weaker. Being mindful of the ‘Five Pillars of Ageing Well’, we support our well-being and protect the functions we don’t want to lose for longer. This means we feel better, stronger, can enjoy being active, are less prone to falls and falls related injuries and in the long run, we maintain our independence and better health for longer.
The series and related materials such as ‘The Five Pillars of Ageing Well’ (Nutrition, Hydration, Physical, Social and Cognitive Stimulation) became the cornerstones of further engagement with the public, specifically around COVID-19 and the relating self-isolation, which are now available on the Open University website and the Internet.
Creating bridges between communities (in this case: research community researching sometimes in an ‘Ivory tower’ and community of ageing population (for whom it is sometimes very difficult to reach the findings that ageing related research produced) was the starting point. The overall aim of this series of interventions is to facilitate a step change in user behaviour and support service provision. Self-management and becoming partners in our own health care is an important aspect of these talks. This may have a wider impact in healthcare economies, as ageing and related co-morbidities have a substantial health and economic burden footprint.