Initiative:

Live Longer Better

Our latest webinar: We Are Undefeatable and Think Active’s Moving Stories webinar is on March 19th – to find out more and to book – click here

Please note: we have lots of great Live Longer Better resources available for you to explore and use – take a look at our resources page here

Across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, there is a significant population of older people, which is ageing further.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have and still are exacerbating health inequalities and increasing pressure on health and social care systems.

We know that activity, including physical, cognitive and emotional can help reduce this problem and increase people’s health span.

“Making it easy and attractive for people to exercise throughout their lives is one of the most effective ways of maintaining independence into older age”. Professor Chris Whitty Health in an Ageing Society Report 

We need to unite and commit to improving systems, recommending and prescribing activity and changing our attitudes to ageing.

​The number of people over 80 is going to increase significantly in the next ten years, but our healthy life expectancy is not expected to increase too. This has huge implications for health and social care services.  It doesn’t have to be this way. There is strong evidence that the major causes of disability and dependency can be prevented or delayed, shortening the period at the end of life when we are heavily dependent on others.

Nearly 100 people came together at our first ever #LivingLongerBetter conference which was lead by Sir Muir Gray, as part of a revolution that is underway to enable people to live longer better, reduce the need for health and social care and reverse the effects of lockdown. You can read about the conference here.

The national ‘Live Longer Better’ programme is mainly supported by Sport England’s Active Partnerships including Think Active. Its aim is not only to prevent the problems that have previously been blamed entirely on the ageing process, but also to enable increased activity – physical, cognitive and emotional – for people who already have one or more long term conditions, including dementia and frailty.

The national programme has three aims.

1. To increase activity (physical, cognitive and emotional) which will:

  • Help people feel and function better, this year
  • Prevent or delay the onset of dementia, disability and frailty
  • Focus on the three Rs: regain what they lost during lockdown, recover the strength stamina and suppleness they have lost in the last decade, and recondition the body that disease and inappropriate activity has deconditioned

2. To increase healthy life expectancy and compress the period of dependency.

3. To reduce the need for health and social care because a person with greater strength, stamina, skill and suppleness has greater resilience and is less likely to need acute care.

Before the day or our conference closed, we asked the attendees to complete their own pledge postcards, talking about how they will help people Live Longer Better – and as Think Active, we pledge to:

  • Facilitate the Living Longer Better network for Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire
  • Distribute a quarterly newsletter – sharing learning and great stories from across the network
  • Host (at least) 1 training/learning event every 3 months
  • Host (at least) 1 network spotlight event every 3 months, allowing member of the network to showcase their work and share good practice
  • Continue to champion Living Longer Better across all of our work

For more information, or to be added to the Living Longer Better mailing list, please email Jordan.young@thinkactive.org

Image of two people talking next to text that reads "People aged between fifty five and seventy four in the poorest ares are more than twice as likely to be inactive than people in the welthiest"
Diagram showing that people get less active the older they get
A diagram that shows the percentage of people aged over sixty five who meet the CMO recommendation of one hundered and fifty mins of modetare intensity exercise per week. These statistics show Men as sixteen percent and women at twelve percent
A man exercising nect to text that reads "Many older people have experienced physical deconditioning during the pandemic. One in four poeple aged sixty and above are less able to do everyday activities"