The Healthy Ageing Programme builds on the strengths of existing Wessex AHSN programmes to provide a cross cutting approach to healthy ageing and frailty. With 21% of the Wessex population reported to be aged 65 years or older, and 15% of those 85 years or more (ONS 2017), the ageing population presents a significant challenge across our region.Although not an inevitable...
The Healthy Ageing Programme builds on the strengths of existing Wessex AHSN programmes to provide a cross cutting approach to healthy ageing and frailty. With 21% of the Wessex population reported to be aged 65 years or older, and 15% of those 85 years or more (ONS 2017), the ageing population presents a significant challenge across our region.
Although not an inevitable part of getting older, frailty occurs as a result of the ageing process with a decline in the body’s physical and psychological reserves. Currently 10% of those over 65 years and between 25% and 50% of those over 85 years are estimated to be living with frailty (Clegg et al 2013). Frailty presents like a long term condition in that it is progressive, has negative impacts on daily living, and fluctuates in its severity. Those living with frailty are at greater risk of deterioration in their physical and mental wellbeing after a relatively minor event such as an infection. The routine identification and management of frailty can greatly improve the health, independence and outcomes of those living with frailty, yet it is often not diagnosed until an individual experiences a major event or is admitted to hospital. The Wessex AHSN is collaborating with a range of partners across the system to add value to existing healthy ageing and frailty services through innovation and the spread of best practice with three areas of focus:
- Nutrition and Hydration; to counteract the negative impacts that undernutrition and dehydration have on the older population and the associated demands placed on health and social care services
- Evaluation; to evaluate projects which identify new ways of working and offer significant benefits to the identification, care and management of those living with frailty
- Spread; to prioritise, and spread innovations that have been demonstrated to offer significant benefit for the promotion of healthy ageing or to improve the care of those people living with frailty
In addition, a community of practice will be developed to allow experts working in this field to share and develop approaches to improve care, as well as developing tools to help share best practice.
Useful links & resources
- Wessex Health Lines - Healthy Ageing Line - A visual representation of projects happening in the Wessex region. It serves as a resource for individuals and organisations collaborating to improve healthy ageing care in Wessex. If you are doing a project to support healthy ageing within the Wessex region, you can add the project details directly to the website
- Frailty focus - a campaign launched by North Hampshire CCG in January 2018 and developed in partnership with North and Mid Hampshire Frailty Steering Group and Scriberia. You can find campaign resources, including a short video are available to be used by all organisations interested in improving the care and health of those living with frailty
- HSJ and Nutricia 'Taking care of people with frailty' Round Table - an HSJ Guide on frailty which the Wessex AHSN was a part of. This guide provides a summary of the round table, along with quotes and short videos
- Time of Your Life - 10-part guide aimed at people approaching retirement, developed by West Hampshire CCG. The guide highlights the importance of planning for retirement and is split into 10 key areas to include being healthy and well, staying active, and managing finances
- Comprehensive Care: Older People Living with Frailty on Hospitals - themed review launched in December 2017 by the NIHR dissemination centre. It looks at the concept of ‘frailty’ in older people staying in hospital, and is based around the five frailty syndromes. It brings together NIHR research on what can be done to identify and manage the needs of this group of people and avoid potential problems. This themed review has influenced the development of the Wessex frailty audit
- Is Wessex Frailty Fit? Workshop review - NHS Benchmarking Network and Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) held this collaborative workshop on Tuesday 26th February 2019. The event brought together Wessex Trusts alongside national bodies, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and NHS England, to discuss frailty in the Wessex region and local action planning to create service improvement plans
- Five ways to increase protein as we age - article by Bournemouth University published in October 2020