Opinions

Staying totally independent in later life or how to get ahead of ‘the Curve’

Written by: Susan Kelso, Project Lead, STILL Going Project

Published: 11/09/2020

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Susan invites people to get involved in a new project which is exploring what factors support healthy ageing.

A two year Scottish Government funded research project called the STILL Going Project is investigating what supports healthy ageing, using the free LifeCurve App . It is looking for people aged 50 years and over to take part.

When we asked older people what made for a good life as they got older they told us what mattered to them:

  • Being active, keeping physical fitness, mental wellness and mobility
  • Socialising with family and friends and doing activities you enjoy – including new ones
  • Keeping positive and being involved in what’s happening around you
  • Keeping independent and having financial security

We all want to keep doing the things that matter to us for as long as possible. Often the image of getting older is one of inevitable decline. But actually, research tells us that how we age is malleable – we can in fact shape or change how we age. And it’s never too early or too late to start!

The LifeCurve (TM) App is based on research that tells us the set order we lose the ability to do everyday activities such as shopping, cooking and getting dressed. The App has a wide range of evidence-based activities and advice designed to help you maintain or improve your LifeCurve (TM) position. And many of the activities can be done at home which is great for people who are recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

Scotland’s population is getting older and is ageing faster than the rest of the UK so this is a good time for the project as 2020 saw the World Health Organisation (WHO) start a Decade of Healthy Ageing this year saying that “investing in Healthy Ageing is crucial for countries to benefit from population ageing”.

What do you need to do to take part? Download and register on the free LifeCurve (TM) App (available on any smart device), connect to the STILL Going Project and start using the App.

What will the App do for me? Find out how you are ageing and then select from evidence-based information, activities and advice that will help you improve how you are ageing – the earlier you start the better. But remember it is never too late to start – you can improve wherever you are on your LifeCurve (TM). We are looking for people living in Scotland aged 50 years and upwards to take part.

What information will the researchers have about me? If you sign up to the Project, the researchers will be able to see your anonymous in-App information but will not be able to see any of your personally identifiable information. You can leave the project at any time – and still use the App if you want to.

The researchers are based in Strathclyde University, Glasgow and hope their findings will support service providers focus on what people say works for them to keep independent, active and healthy throughout their whole lifespan. We also hope it can help change the thinking on getting older and being older – by challenging negative stereotypes of older people and valuing older people for the contributions they make to friends, family and their local communities.

Visit the Still Going project’s website (this link will take you away from our website) for more information on the project and the App, or email susan.kelso@strath.ac.uk.

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