Getting older is a fact of life. It’s something we all have to contend with, although some of us may embrace it more keenly than others. There are certainly plenty of benefits to ageing – retirement for one, and hopefully you’re fortunate enough to surround yourself with grandchildren and even great grandchildren, spending plenty of quality time together as a family.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that the average life expectancy in the UK is 83.1 years for women and 79.4 for men – a marginal rise from when the previous data set was collected, between 2016 and 2018.
So, as a general rule, we’re living longer, which is a positive. But of course, ageing brings plenty of challenges too. High on the list of those is mobility, with many members of the older generation struggling to move around as freely as they’d like. So, what can be done to improve the situation?
According to the NHS, a lot of adults aged 65+ spend at least 10 hours a day sitting or lying down. Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect many people in that age group to get out and run 10 miles a day, but there are still plenty of options open to them when it comes to exercising. For example, a simple daily walk – even if it’s just down to the shops or around the block – can improve circulation, flexibility and any respiratory problems. Other options include a spot of gardening, water aerobics or even taking up social sports such as lawn bowls or doubles tennis.
It might be that they struggle to walk distances of any kind without some assistance, in which case there are various walking aids that are available. Crutches, walking frames, walkers and trolleys can all help the elderly move about more freely, while their choice of footwear is also vitally important. Even if they’re just moving about the house, they need to have a pair of slippers that offer plenty of support, are easy to fasten and fit properly so that they don’t cause a trip or a fall.
When it comes to mobility, we’re not just talking about moving around the house, the garden or the local park. We’re also talking about experiencing freedom, and that means getting out and enjoying a change of scene once in a while. To do this, many of the older generation might rely on a wheelchair and a specially adapted vehicle. That way, they can venture further afield for fun days out or to go and visit their loved ones, and their reduced mobility needn’t stand in their way.