|Longer independent living is vital for the NHS funding ‘crisis|
NHS England’s National Clinical Director for the Frail Elderly and Integration invites us to change our perception of what frailty actually is. The recent Health and Social Care Information Centre publication reports that the remaining life expectancy at an age of 65 years is 18 years for a man and 21 years for a woman – roughly 5 years more compared with 1980/82 – but that the “Disability Free Life Expectancy” (DFLE) is only 10 years for men and 11 years for a woman.
A “Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing” has been co-produced by NHS England and Age UK. It is underpinned by an extensive evidence base (78 cohort studies) of factors that are strongly associated with loss of independence in later life. It is designed to target people with mild frailty and was carefully constructed with the help of focus groups to ensure the content was meaningful & acceptable. Over 200.000 copies of the guide have been requested since it was released earlier this year. NHS England now plan to conduct a review of its uptake & content and would welcome comments & suggestions for improvements.