This electronic book is a compilation of themed insights, each of the sections being written by various experts in their fields, concerning the best evidence available on the main issues in the health and wellbeing of people aged 85 and over. Generalisable conclusions are that (1) the very old are more diverse in health than the “younger old” and so should not all be treated the same, (2) chronological age alone is not a good predictor of life expectancy and response to treatments, (3) many of the illnesses associated with age are largely preventable in that they can be treated or avoided. Integrated care promises to be the best solution for this patient group, whereby the oldest old receive coordinated care across services and specialities.
The table of contents in this document says it all:
- Abandon preconceptions about the oldest old, by Alan Walker.
- Ignore age and look at the person, by Finbarr Martin.
- Rethink old age, by Rudi Westendorp.
- Learn from the oldest old, by John Starr.
- Understand the importance of social relationships, by Ann Bowling.
- Focus on outcomes in social care, by Ann Netten.
- Use the six senses, by Mike Nolan.
- Listen to and care about the oldest old, by Liz Lloyd.
- Know that loneliness is not inevitable, by Vanessa Burholt.
- Understand that we will still need care homes, by Julienne Meyer and Tom Owen.
- Maintain personhood, by Julian Hughes.
- Prevent, identify and treat depression, by Susan Bedford.
- Allow for some hard thinking at 85 and over, by Ian J. Deary.
- Help people live well with dementia, by Alistair Burns.
- Realise that exercise is still key for the oldest old, by Richard A. Ferguson.
- Minimise sedentary behaviour, by Dawn A. Skelton
- Maintain vision, by Catherine Dennison.
- Keep teeth and mouths healthy, by Paula Moynihan and Angus Walls.
- Support proper nutrition, by John Mathers.
- Manage sleep, by Kevin Morgan.
- Realise that multiple health issues are the norm, by Marion McMurdo.
- Ensure age is no barrier to accessing health services, by Iain Lang.
- Plan for better hospital care, by Teresa Dowsing and Simon Conroy.
- Living long and ageing well: insights from nonagenarians, by Maeve Rea.
- Know that incontinence is not inevitable, by James Malone-Lee.
- Provide technology for all, by Gail Mountain.
- Design for the fourth age, by Jeremy Myerson.
- Recognise and prevent elder abuse, by Gloria M. Gutman.
- See the need to know more, by Tom Kirkwood, Joanna Collerton and Carol Jagger.
Davidson, S. Goodwin, J. and Rossall, P. [eds] (2013). Improving later life: understanding the oldest old. London: Age UK, March 2013.
Note: There is an accompanying Factsheet (in MS Word format).
This document has been referenced by BBC Health News:
Triggle, N. (2013). Why old age need not be a burden. London: BBC News, March 14th 2013.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 7, May 2013].