Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
7:47 PM 18th November 2021

York City To Undertake Measures Promoting Seniors’ Good Health And Well-being

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Jackie Edwards takes a look at how York City is undertaking measures to promote seniors good health and wellbeing.

There are 15.5 million people aged 60 and older in the UK, which is 23% of its population. Loneliness and decreased mental well-being are problems for the elderly next to physical health concerns. In Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 'Levelling Up' speech, health inequalities in the North were recognized.

Life expectancy In Yorkshire and the Humber is almost 2 years lower than the average in England. The national government has yet to address this in a concrete manner but in the May 2021 update of the City of York Council Plan, the council will “seek to create an environment enabling people to live healthy and active lives regardless of their age.”

The Council Plan

By 2023, the city commits to making health and well-being a priority. It aims to improve mental health outcomes for older people by providing support in statutory services and the voluntary sector in order to tackle the feelings of isolation of the elderly. The council will also ensure that transport needs will be ready to serve the most vulnerable population including the seniors. The council will also deliver opportunities that support healthy lifestyles like walking trails, sports facilities, and exercise for all ages with dietary advice.
Why Older People Need To Learn New Things and Move
Inactivity is the bane of the elderly as it can lead to restlessness, frustration, low self-esteem, and agitation. Meaningful and suitable activities can vastly improve their well-being, both physically and mentally. Research made by the YMCA discovered that mental stimulation can improve well-being by 13%.

This could be through learning a new skill, enrolling in a class, or entering a competition. There’s a stereotype of seniors who refuse to learn technology. For some of them, it’s because of physical conditions that come with ageing such as vision loss and leathery fingers. For some, it’s a lack of support. If a child, grandchild, or caregiver patiently teaches their elders, there’s no reason they couldn’t learn how to use a smartphone or maybe even set up their own smart TVs or PCs once they discover which cable goes with what. Other activities where seniors can develop new aptitudes are taking up new hobbies, indulging in games and puzzles, and arts and crafts.

Physical activity is just as important for the elderly, maybe even more so because of the physical health issues that ageing can bring. Walking, swimming and cycling are popular exercises among the elderly. Tai chi and yoga give health benefits without rough movements. Dancing, golf, and bowling can be fun ways to exercise and they give you a chance to socialize as well.

The twilight years are not to be dreaded. It can be more challenging, but one can definitely still live a full life and remain happy and content. Retirement may mean withdrawing from active work life, but it should not excuse older persons from learning new things or staying physically dynamic. Indulging in these activities will also expand your social circle. All these will significantly decrease feelings of loneliness and contribute to positive well-being.