Oxford City Council is marking Healthy Ageing Month, an initiative created by Oxford Brookes University to promote the World Health Organisation’s decade of study “to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live” (WHO).
It is especially important to bolster health initiatives for older people at this time, as the Covid-19 outbreak has affected the over-60s in particular within our communities, with premature deaths and illness affecting many in the city. This age group has been at particular risk, both of contracting the virus itself and of increased isolation and loneliness as a result of the lockdown measures.
Healthy Ageing Month began on 2 November and will last until the end of the month.
Our Healthy Ageing Initiatives
Oxford City Council has developed digital initiatives to support older people in staying healthy and connected to the community throughout the pandemic. Our Activity Hub provides online exercise programmes and includes specialist routines for older people, including those with health conditions and accessibility needs. Oxford Activity Hub also offers mental health support.
The Go Active Outdoors webpage was also created to encourage continued outdoor activity over this period. Unfortunately, our community physical activity sessions, including Oxford Health Walks programme, have been suspended until the 2 December due to the current lockdown measures, but our GO Active, Get Healthy programme is running.
This is a free 6 month programme, funded by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, to support people living with type 2 Diabetes in Oxfordshire to become more active. The current programme includes 6 months of 1-1 telephone support alongside a wide array of resources to promote enjoyable exercise. Interested parties can find out more by visiting the GO Active, Get Healthy website or by contacting Emma Collins, our Sport and Physical Activity Officer at ECollins@oxford.gov.uk
There are Community volunteers services to help older people stay connected in Oxford, who may otherwise be isolated and suffer loneliness. Please see the Activity Hub’s ‘Staying Connected’ page for further advice.
Following our celebration of UN Older People’s Day earlier this year, the Oxford 50+ Network have been working in partnership with the Oxford Brookes' Healthy Ageing & Care Network Steering Group to help promote older people's issues.
Oxford Brookes University is marking the Decade of Healthy Ageing with a month of free lunchtime seminars, workshops and talks to highlight the action that individuals, employers, professionals and researchers can take to age healthily.
It’s vitally important that we support the health of older people all across the city of Oxford so that their needs and aspirations can be met, especially in the current lockdown.
Our new Go Outdoors website and the online Activity Hub offer new ways for people to connect and stay active. Staying mentally and physically active is really important for your health and wellbeing, and so is feeling connected to other people. Many older people just need the resources to do this themselves, but we’ve also seen just how committed volunteers and neighbours are to supporting those who need more help, doing food shops, offering befriending services and picking up prescriptions, often via Oxford’s locality hubs.
Oxford City Council remains dedicated to ensuring that older people are supported for healthy later life. By looking after your physical and mental health as you get older you can enjoy the opportunities of retirement, grandchildren, or just more time that getting older brings.
Councillor Pat Kennedy, Oxford City Council Older People’s Champion