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Live Longer Better – the Revolution gathers pace

Live Longer Better – the Revolution gathers pace

Categories: Health & Wellbeing

Monday 24 May 2021

Wednesday 5 May saw the launch of the next phase of Live Longer Better, following a pilot phase led by Active Oxfordshire and Optimal Ageing.

Co-ordinated by the Active Partnerships National Team, the 2-year Community of Practice and Learning (CoPL) comprises 20 Active Partnerships alongside national partners united behind the transformational shared purpose – to develop a new culture: from “care to enablement”, using physical activity as the driver to increase healthspan for older adults. This is a revolution, a cultural revolution and revolutions need a favourable conducive environment as well as committed revolutionaries, and three highly significant changes in the environment are taking place as we move into Phase 2.

Firstly the immensity of the consequences  of COVID 19 and the necessary lockdown are just becoming apparent: ‘long covid’, obesity, depression and anxiety, and as Age UK found, a highly significant decrease in walking ability and balance in our older population.

Secondly the impending impact of population ageing and social care costs is again in the headlines, if not in the Queen’s speech.  The need for, and possibility of, prevention is at last being recognised, for example in an excellent article by Camilla Cavendish in the Financial Times of the 6th of May:

“For the future of social care, we need a revolution not a reorganisation.  We need to reduce the need for social care by making the term ‘care’, meaning just doing things for people redundant and enabling people to achieve physical and cognitive development as they live longer.”

(Sir Muir Gray)

Thirdly the NHS White Paper, titled Integration and Innovation, published in February 2021, focuses on the need to develop systems, with the term system being used 251 times compared with the term hospital used only 21 times. These systems must be population based, give value for money and support broader social and economic development.  The Live Longer Better system delivered by local networks is an excellent model of such a system and forms a very good foundation for people engaging with the new NHS organisations.

So as we enter this next longer term phase of Live Longer Better, collectively we, the Active Partnerships, Sir Muir Gray and his expert Associates, together with our national organisations are fully charged and ready to lead this revolution.  We are ambitious and determined, and as a strong unified movement collectively utilising the power and strength of physical activity, we will drive forward the transformational shared purpose – to develop a new culture: from “care to enablement”.

Sadie Mason MBE, CEO at Active Sussex said:

"Active Sussex is delighted to be working with Sir Muir Gray and his Optimal Ageing Programme to launch a transformational initiative designed to help those in later life "Live Longer Better." We are keen to be at the forefront of a new culture which looks at a shift from “care” to enablement, with physical activity as the key catalyst for improving the wellbeing of older people in Sussex."

For more information, please contact Strategic Relationship Manager, Ross Joannides, at rjoannides@activesussex.org