Introducing the Guide to Healthy Active Ageing

Choosing happiness & wellbeing.

“When we understand the connection between how we live and how long we live, it’s easier to make different choices.”
   ~Dean Ornish

None of us will be 18 again but there are sensible, practical things you can do to stay safe and active mentally and physically. This series of guides provides some useful tips to help you decide what you would see as improvement and how you could get there. We offer some choice of things you could do so you can face the future happier and healthier by doing things you like. Making plans and tackling some of the things that worry you will help. We point to other resources and organisations which have useful information and offer guidance. And don’t feel you have to try every single thing we suggest.

This series of guides is about general wellbeing and offers all sorts of advice about how to make you and your circumstances work better.

Why choosing is important

Research from the Institute for Ageing at Newcastle University shows that maintaining your levels of independence in the small things helps stops progression into larger problems associated with a steeper and quicker decline. Often the first activity to become difficult is cutting your toenails. If you are having difficulty with this it is probably a sign that at least one of your capabilities is in decline. At this point you have a choice, whether to re-able yourself to cut your toenails or to arrange for ongoing help with toenail maintenance.

If you successfully ‘re-able’ yourself you may:

• Live 3 years longer
• Get another 6.5 years of independent life (measured by whether or not you need help to cook a hot meal)
• Reduce your final period of dependence from 5.5 years to 2 years.

With foresight and planning you should be able to prolong the period before any of these problems even emerge. If you already need help with some activities it might be possible to become more able again or at least slow decline. Choosing the right activities could lead a happier life too.


If you have a critical issue bothering you, click here for some information about what you can do now.


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If you know something is wrong then please contact an expert immediately.

Your doctor can help with medical problems, or if you are in an emotional crisis you could contact the Samaritans. You can call them free from any phone on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or you may have a branch near you that you can visit (see www.samaritans.org/branches).

If the cause of your crisis is feeling overwhelmed by a financial or legal issue then they may suggest a local legal centre or the Citizens Advice Bureau as a good first step to solving your issues.

There is a Spanish phrase that says ‘Where there is a will, there are many ways’. Just because what you have tried so far has not worked does not mean there is nothing else to try and these people are expert at finding the right solution in a crisis, and they care.

If you know something is wrong then please contact an expert immediately.

Your doctor can help with medical problems, or if you are in an emotional crisis you could contact the Samaritans. You can call them free from any phone on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or you may have a branch near you that you can visit (see www.samaritans.org/branches).

If the cause of your crisis is feeling overwhelmed by a financial or legal issue then they may suggest a local legal centre or the Citizens Advice Bureau as a good first step to solving your issues.

There is a Spanish phrase that says ‘Where there is a will, there are many ways’. Just because what you have tried so far has not worked does not mean there is nothing else to try and these people are expert at finding the right solution in a crisis, and they care.