Obesity and lack of exercise and the cost of social care

Just because one 101 year old can successfully complete a sky dive from 15,000 feet it doesn’t mean that everyone who has reached that age (or who has got anywhere near it) can do the same.

While it does support the idea that ‘age is just a number’ and that none of us should limit our ambition to achieve things just because of how old we may be, we are all different.

Social care is about supporting people unable to complete the tasks necessary to live independently – regardless of age.  According to the Health Survey for England which monitors trends in the nation’s health and health related behaviours, the need for adult social care is measured according to whether older people require help with a number of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs).  The Activities are:-

Basic requirements for daily living (ADLs)

  • Getting up and down stairs
  • Having a bath or a shower
  • Dressing or undressing
  • Getting in and out of bed
  • Getting around indoors
  • Taking medicine
  • Using the toilet
  • Eating, including cutting up food
  • Washing face and hands

Other important aspects of living independently (IADLs)

  • Shopping for food
  • Doing routine housework or laundry
  • Getting out of the house
  • Doing paperwork or paying bills

The Survey report acknowledges that the data gathered is mostly concerned with older people (65+).  This is mainly because they are by far the largest group receiving care.  In 2015, local authorities received 1.8 million requests for social care and support, 1.3 million (72%) of which were from adults aged 65 and over.  The report also cites the factors thought to be creating an increase in demand for care services:

  • the ageing population
  • changes in the birth rate
  • changes in family structures
  • the growth in illnesses like dementia

Apart from the section dealing with Adult Social Care, the survey also assesses the state of the nation relating to other factors, like smoking, alcohol consumption, children’s physical activity, and overweight and obese children and adults.  While it may not be very scientific to link pressure on our health and social care services in the future with lack of exercise and obesity today it is nevertheless tempting to do so.

Whether you want information about benefits and social care or need help with other Healthcare, Benefits, Work, Consumer, Relationships, Housing, Law and Rights, Education, Discrimination, or Tax issues you can contact Citizens Advice by:

  • calling 0344 848 7969 to speak to an assessor or make an appointment to talk to an adviser face-to face. (calls to this service cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers included as part of a mobile allowance or a landline call package).
  • visiting Citizens Advice to access our comprehensive range of information and advice, or read more on our website to find out what’s happening at Citizens Advice Waverley
  • You can also follow us on Twitter @WaverleyCAB
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