Stories hitting the headlines this week include the topic of exercise. Experts have called for a shift in the ‘prevailing attitude’ which views exercise as an activity only for the young. Also new research has found that volunteering could be an effective way for seniors to boost their cognitive function.
Elderly Must Exercise
The main story from the week concerns the elderly and exercising. Reported in the Telegraph, the headline read, "Old age is not for taking it easy. Elderly must exercise to keep health costs down, say experts". The story went on to state that doctors expressed later years shouldn't be a time to kick back, and that pensioners need to 'play their part' in keeping active to avoid becoming a burden to the healthcare system.
It was highlighted in this story that doctors had written in the British Medical Journal that exercise shouldn't be seen as an activity just for younger people to stay fit and healthy, stating there needs to be a shift in this 'prevailing attitude'.
"We need to challenge the idea that old people should rest. People need to keep active however old they are. They need to increase activity. Every adult should do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week and twice weekly strength and balance training."
The article goes on to express how social care costs the UK around £100 billion a year, and if this attitude towards exercise was corrected then it could be drastically reduced.
Exercise is a proven way to reverse physical decline in the elderly and can prevent people from going into care homes. The more the nation is encouraged to exercise throughout our lives, the better quality of life we will all have.
Some activities known to improve health and fitness among the elderly include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and golf. We recently highlighted 7 sports that'll keep you active over the age of 60 which includes more in-depth benefits of each type of sport and exercise.
Physical activity has a huge range of benefits and as we age and lose muscle strength it's vital to keep active.
"Falls account for four million hospital bed days every year. Physical activity that maintains and improves muscle strength and ability to balance is crucial in reducing the risk of falling, potentially saving the NHS £1 billion from hip fractures."
In order to prevent potential future muscle weakness and balance issues it's important to take part in strengthening exercises and following the recommended guideline of exercise time to undertake in a week. For those that do suffer from such issues however there is help available.
A Careline Alarm is an aid to help those who live at home alone or lack confidence because they are unstable on their feet and suffer from falls. Our pendant alarms can be activated with the push of a button in the event of an emergency and a call will go through to our Care Team who are on standby 24/7 365 days a year.
You can find out more about our personal alarm service by heading to our alarms section and also reading our informative blog here.
Boosting Brain Power In The Elderly
The second story of interest to hit the news this week is about boosting brain power in the elderly. According to the article posted in the Hindustan Times, new research has found that 'volunteering could be an effective way for seniors to boost their cognitive function.'
"Cognitive functions, such as memory, working memory and processing are essential for living an independent life. They’re the tools and methods the brain uses to process information. It’s the brain’s working memory and processing capacity that benefit the most from volunteering."
The study that has resulted in such claims involved 11,000 adults aged 51 and over, who had their cognitive functions assessed before and after volunteering.
We believe volunteering is the tip of the iceberg. There are many activities that can improve cognitive function and boost brain power. These include the likes of reading, writing, doing crosswords and also exercise. There's hundreds of things you can do to keep your mind busy and thus resulting in a sharper, clearer mind.
Take a read of our Retirement 101 – The top fun things to keep you occupied blog article!
'Tax on age'
The final story of interest this week featured in the BBC News, suggesting that old people will be taxed more, and investigated the legality behind it.
The story read: 'Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is rumoured to be planning a reduced rate of National Insurance, while cutting older people's pension relief.'
The BBC questioned whether it was legal to tax someone because they are older and the short answer revealed was yes.
There are lots of instances of people paying more or less tax, based on their age. It may be discrimination, but it's not illegal. - BBC
With November looming, decisions on UK spending and cuts will soon be revealed and it's expected these increases on pensioners taxes will be introduced. With many pensioners struggling as it is, we foresee this will be a difficult time for many elderly people across the nation if the increases are introduced.
It's important to learn what benefits and discounts you're entitled to as a pensioner to help out with finances. Careline offers tax relief on our personal alarms, as do many companies that provide essential medical and support equipment.