At Bright Care, we believe you can live a joyful and purposeful life in your later years.

Ageing Well involves making active choices about your lifestyle, such as undertaking exercise, eating and sleeping well, staying socially active and remaining mentally stimulated, all of which can increase your longevity, improve your quality of life and increase your healthspan – which is the period of time in your later years where you remain healthy.

Here are some ageing well related questions that we are typically asked along with the answers. If you have a question that is not covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us.

General

What does ageing well mean?

“Ageing well” refers to the process of growing older while maintaining good physical, mental, and social well-being. It encompasses a holistic approach to ageing that goes beyond just the absence of disease. Ageing well generally includes a positive attitude and a sense of engagement and purpose and a desire to stay active and healthy in later life.

Our Ageing Well series focuses on all aspects of achieving a healthier and happier life, including advice, tips and suggestions on how to stay active, maintain good mental health, be mindful, have purpose and achieve a longer healthspan.

What are the benefits of ageing well?

Ageing well involves taking care of our physical, mental, emotional and social well-being in order to enjoy a fulfilling and meaningful life as we grow older. There are numerous benefits of ageing well that can enhance the overall quality of life.

While ageing naturally brings physical changes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help minimise the impact of age-related issues and increase longevity. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, doing puzzles, or learning new skills can help keep the mind sharp and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

With age comes a wealth of life experience and knowledge, allowing us to make more informed decisions and offer valuable insights to others. We often have greater emotional resilience and are better equipped to handle life’s challenges, including stress, loss and conflict.

Ageing well can lead to deeper connections with family, friends, and community members. This fosters a sense of belonging and it can provide opportunities for spiritual reflection and growth, leading to greater peace, acceptance, and fulfilment.

With careful planning and saving throughout life, older adults can enjoy financial security in retirement, allowing them to pursue hobbies, travel or other interests. Many older adults continue to contribute to their communities through volunteer work, mentorship, or sharing their expertise, leaving a lasting impact on future generations.

Our Ageing Well series focuses on all aspects of achieving a healthier and happier life in later years. This includes advice, tips, and suggestions on how to achieve a longer healthspan – which is the period of time in your later years where you remain healthy.

Programmes

What is the Ageing Well policy?

The Ageing Well policy is a set of strategies, programmes and initiatives designed by governments, organisations and communities to support and enhance the well-being of ageing populations. The NHS Ageing Well Programme is a blueprint for reducing the rising health service demand to support people in their later years. 

In our Ageing Well series, we aim to inform and promote positive outcomes for older people, enabling them to lead healthy, active, social and fulfilling lives.

What is the Ageing Better programme?

The Ageing Better programme, is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. It focuses on improving the quality of life for older adults and addressing the challenges associated with ageing. 

This includes innovative projects and initiatives that enable older people to lead fulfilling lives, stay connected to their communities, and maintain their independence as they age. It provides funding and resources to organisations working to combat issues such as social isolation, loneliness and ageism.

At Bright Care, we believe remaining living independently in your own home is the best possible outcome in later years. Our Ageing Well series,  aims to inform and promote positive outcomes for older people so that they can experience a life full of joy and purpose.

Exercise

What exercises should an elderly person do?

Engaging in regular exercise can help to improve overall health, maintain independence in later years and enhance quality of life. When exercising it is crucial to consider individual health conditions and consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise programme. 

The types of exercises that are often recommended for those in their later years include walking, Thai-Chi, water aerobics, riding a bike, yoga, dancing for fitness, chair-based stretches, gardening, swimming and low-impact aerobics. For more ideas on what exercises to undertake and how often, read these NHS exercise guidelines.

When starting any new exercise programme, it is crucial to start slowly, keep yourself hydrated and use the proper equipment. Always consult your doctor before you start to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your individual health conditions.

What is the best exercise for seniors?

It is recommended that elderly people exercise regularly to help them age well. In later years, low impact exercises that focus on flexibility, strength, balance and cardiovascular health are a good choice. 

The type of exercise will depend on health, fitness level and personal preference. Exercises that are generally well-suited for older adults include walking, resistance training, swimming, water aerobics, yoga, pilates, tai chi, cycling and golf. Chair exercises are ideal for those with limited mobility or balance issues.

Please read our blog post on exercise for the elderly to find out more.

Longevity

What is considered longevity?

Longevity refers to the concept of living a long and extended life. An individual’s longevity can be influenced by their genetics, lifestyle choices, access to healthcare, socio-economic conditions and environmental factors. 

While genetics can play a role in determining potential life span, lifestyle factors such as a healthy and nutritious diet, regular exercise, not smoking and managing stress can contribute to overall well-being and the possibility of a longer life.

It is important to note that living a long life does not necessarily equate to living a healthy and fulfilling life. Quality of life, including physical and mental well-being, remains a crucial aspect of ageing well. Read our Ageing Well series to find out more.

What are the Blue Zones?

The term “Blue Zones” refers to specific regions around the world where people are known to live longer, healthier lives. These areas have been identified through demographic and epidemiological research as having higher concentrations of centenarians (individuals aged 100 or older) and a lower prevalence of age-related diseases. 

The concept of Blue Zones was popularised by the author Dan Buettner, who conducted research to identify and study these longevity hotspots. The recognised five Blue Zones include the Greek island of Ikaria, the Okinawa Island in Japan, the mountainous region of Barbagia in Sardinia, Italy, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and the Loma Linda community in California, USA.

Research shows that these Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that are believed to contribute to the longevity of their residents. These characteristics often include a predominantly plant-based diet, regular physical activity, strong social connections, a sense of purpose and low levels of stress. We explore how the lifestyle choices of those living in Blue Zones can help us to improve our healthy ageing and longevity in our Ageing Well series

What is the concept of longevity?

Longevity refers to the length of an individual’s lifespan. However, the concept of longevity extends beyond simply reaching an older age. Longevity also emphasises maintaining good health and quality of life as one ages. This is known as your healthspan, which is the number of healthy years you live unaffected by chronic illness. 

Several factors influence longevity, including genetics, environmental and psychological factors, medical advances and our social connections. While we do not have full control over many of these factors, the lifestyle choices we make can have a profound impact on overall health and longevity. To find out more, check out our Ageing Well series, which aims to inform and promote positive outcomes for older people so that they can experience a long and healthy life.

What is the lifestyle of the Blue Zone?

The term “Blue Zones” refers to five specific regions around the world where people are known to live longer, healthier lives compared to the global average. 

While each Blue Zone has its own unique cultural and environmental characteristics, they share several common lifestyle practices that are believed to promote longevity. These key elements include a predominantly plant-based diet, moderate calorie intake, regular physical activity, strong social ties, and community support. They also include stress reduction, healthy social and cultural norms and having a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Adopting these lifestyle practices in our own lives may increase our chances of living longer, healthier lives. Visit our Blue Zones page for more information.

Wellness

Why is wellness so important?

Wellness encompasses all aspects of a person’s well-being, including physical, mental, and social health. Achieving and maintaining wellness contributes to a high quality of life, overall happiness and the ability to live life to its fullest potential. Wellness can become even more important as we get older and maintaining good wellness practices can contribute to ageing well.

Your overall wellness can be influenced by regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, managing stress, maintaining a good emotional balance, fostering a positive mindset, building resilience, cultivating positive relationships, cognitive stimulation and preventive healthcare.

A proactive approach to wellness can help prevent chronic diseases, enhance immune function, promote longevity, improve emotional well-being and productivity and ultimately leads to a more fulfilling, vibrant and satisfying life.

How do you measure quality of life?

Measuring quality of life involves assessing various aspects of an individual’s well-being and life satisfaction. Surveys and questionnaires to self-report levels of well-being and life satisfaction can be used, or by using quantifiable and measurable data related to different aspects of life. Some common approaches to measuring quality of life include:

  • Measuring an individual’s perceived health status and its impact on their overall quality of life.
  • Measuring the quality of life in terms of social, economic and environmental factors. 
  • Determining access to cultural and recreational activities and educational attainment.
  • Assessing an individual’s overall satisfaction with life, such as work, relationships and health.

Because there are so many different factors to consider when measuring quality of life, it is important to note that this is a subjective and multidimensional concept and no single measure can capture all factors in their entirety. 

Find out how ageing well can contribute to a better quality of life.

What is the understanding of wellness?

The concept of wellness encompasses various aspects of physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual and occupational well-being. It goes beyond the absence of illness or disease and emphasises achieving optimal health and vitality in all areas of life. 

In order to achieve optimum physical wellness, we need to take care of our bodies through regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and preventive healthcare practices. Mental wellness involves managing stress effectively, practising mindfulness, developing positive coping strategies and seeking support when needed.

Good emotional wellness entails cultivating self-awareness, expressing emotions appropriately, building resilience and nurturing positive relationships. Social wellness relates to successfully building and maintaining supportive relationships, fostering a sense of belonging and community, and effectively communicating and resolving conflicts.

Spiritual wellness can be cultivated through practices such as meditation, prayer, reflection, and participation in religious or spiritual communities. Occupational wellness relates to satisfaction and fulfilment derived from work or chosen activities, and finding a balance between work, leisure and personal interests. Environmental wellness can include living in a way that promotes harmony with the natural environment and minimises harm to ecological systems.

By addressing each aspect of wellness and striving for balance and integration, we can enhance our overall quality of life and achieve a state of optimal well-being. We offer lots of tips and advice around cultivating good well-being practices.

What do you mean by quality of life?

Quality of life refers to an overall sense of well-being and satisfaction with various aspects of our life. It encompasses physical health, mental and emotional well-being, social relationships, personal fulfilment and environmental factors. 

Quality of life is subjective and can vary greatly from person to person and is influenced by both internal factors (such as attitudes, beliefs and personal values) and external factors (such as social, economic and environmental conditions). 

Striving to enhance quality of life involves identifying and nurturing the factors that contribute to well-being and making choices that align with our own values and priorities. Find out how ageing well can contribute to a better quality of life.

Staying Healthy

How can I stay young naturally?

Staying young naturally involves adopting a holistic approach that addresses various aspects of physical, mental and emotional well-being. While ageing is a natural process, there are lifestyle choices and habits that can contribute to ageing well and help you feel and look younger. These should include maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, participating in regular exercise, having adequate sleep, applying sun protection, managing stress levels, staying socially connected and mentally stimulated, limiting the intake of alcohol, tobacco, sugar and processed foods, practising good posture, cultivating a positive mindset and getting regular health check-ups.

Although ageing is a natural part of life, adopting these lifestyle habits can contribute to ageing well and promoting a sense of vitality and well-being as you navigate the different stages of life.

How do you stay youthful in old age?

Staying youthful in old age involves adopting healthy lifestyle practices that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being, as well as cultivating a positive mindset and maintaining an active and engaged lifestyle. 

To help stay youthful in old age you should maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, limit the intake of processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats. You should also engage in regular exercise to maintain physical fitness, mobility, and independence, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

You should also challenge your brain by engaging in mentally stimulating activities, staying curious, and open-minded. It also helps to continue to seek opportunities for learning and personal growth throughout your life.

Practising stress management techniques, cultivating a positive outlook and maintaining a sense of humour to cope with life’s challenges and setbacks are also recommended. Nurturing relationships, staying connected and engaging in meaningful social interactions can help  combat loneliness and isolation.

Aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night will help to support physical and mental health, energy levels and overall well-being. Staying active and engaging in activities you enjoy can also bring fulfilment and purpose to your life. 

Incorporating these strategies into your daily life can help to maintain a youthful outlook and a zest for life as you age. Although ageing is a natural and inevitable part of life, you can ensure you age well by embracing your later years with grace, resilience and a positive attitude.

If you still have questions, talk to us today and we’d be glad to help.