Living and ageing well

Our theme of ‘Living and ageing well’ is concerned with contributing to the emotional and physical health of people of all ages and to ensuring that older people can remain independent for as long as possible.

It is increasingly important for individuals and communities to become proactive in ensuring that they have good physical and emotional health and that social and support networks are in place for them to thrive. Strategies developed to help people adopt this increased level of responsibility are most likely to be successful when they have been developed in collaboration with the people they are intended to influence.

We work with health and social care and other agencies to help their work enabling appropriate, efficient services and promoting positive lifestyle choices.

Examples of projects delivered under this theme

  • In Understanding Bereavement, we conducted research for NHS East of England with people who had recent experience of bereavement. Our research provided the basis for a ground-breaking Good Practice Guide for people working in health services on how to reduce harm to relatives and close friends when a patient dies.
  • In Putting People First, we conducted research with people approaching their older years into the old age they would prefer and how they plan to achieve it. The research compared the expectations and disposition of older people in more affluent areas with those from the most deprived wards in Suffolk. Suffolk County Council used the research to inform policy and to develop a communications strategy to encourage people to plan for independence in old age.

Future

The establishment of Health and Wellbeing Boards signals a more holistic approach to ensuring the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the individuals and communities. We strongly welcome this as our work is very much concerned with the reality of the lived-experience of individuals and people don’t generally recognise the boundaries between different service agencies.

We are keen to continue our work in mental and physical health and in helping to ensure that initiatives to encourage individual resilience take account of their intended audience.