Category Archives: Health

Guest blog: What is the NHS Constitution?

440x210-woman-in-hospital-bed

Yewande Ipaye from the NHS Constitution team at the Department of Health writes about promoting awareness of the NHS Constitution, and how it helps people to understand what they can expect from the NHS.

Recently I joined the NHS Constitution (NHSC) team at the Department of Health. Prior to joining the team, I had only heard about the existence of the NHS Constitution, despite being in the same Unit. Like many others, I had never seen it, let alone used it.

What is its purpose? Who is it aimed at? How can it actually help people? Continue reading

Staying warm and well in winter

632x305_Warm_homes_image_small

With temperatures starting to drop, frostier mornings and even the possibility of snow in the air, winter is finally upon us. We all cope with the cold weather differently – some people even enjoy it – but for many older people, it can be life-threatening.

It may come as a shock to find out that nearly 41,000 older people died because of the cold weather in 2014-15. These were all excess winter deaths which could have been prevented. Continue reading

Easy ways to keep warm this winter

440x210_Snow-in-Shepton-Mal

With the night’s drawing in, winter is definitely on its way. Sadly, each winter 1 older person dies every 7 minutes from the cold weather and many more become seriously ill.

Why are older people more susceptible to the cold?

Cold temperatures can be very dangerous to older people’s health, as they not only increase the likelihood and severity of flu and respiratory problems, but being cold also thickens the blood and increases blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Continue reading

Challenging assumptions of health and ageing

The recent publication of the latest ONS figures on average life expectancy have become familiar reading. How long you are likely to live is still heavily dependent on where in the country you live. A woman who is 65 living in Kensington and Chelsea can reasonably expect to live another 25 years, while a woman of the same age in Manchester can expect just under 19.

Without some recognition of the variability of ageing, we risk continuing the characterisation of health and wellbeing in later life as a rapid downward spiral. This underpins the many statements about the “burden” of an ageing society, or the pressure that older people place on essential services. Continue reading