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Age Healthy Norwich project’s success in reducing loneliness

The charity offers support and services to older people, their families and carers for those over 75 years old, providing clubs and trips, and information and advice when it is needed.

Its Age Healthy Norwich initiative works specifically with people aged between 50 and 65 who have the risk factors of high blood pressure, asthma/COPD, diabetes or mobility issues. It was launched last November in collaboration with One Norwich Practices.

The aim of the programme is to help “prevent illness and injury, enabling a healthier population and reducing pressure on local health services”.

Norwich Evening News: The Age Healthy Norwich initiative is proving successful for Age UK Norwich The Age Healthy Norwich initiative is proving successful for Age UK Norwich (Image: Age UK Norwich)

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The programme focuses on the individuals’ goals which may be to improve physical health, mobility, activity, weight loss and/or mental health and wellbeing. The programme then offers free, one-to-one personalised coaching for six months, dependent on the person’s own goal.  

Afterwards, there is a following six-month self-care where participants are provided with wide access to clubs and activities, including walking football, strength and balance classes and bowling.

A survey of participants has uncovered some remarkable results.

While 53pc of participants have said it has made them feel less lonely, 84pc have felt that their health has improved and a majority of 92pc have felt it has made them more confident. 

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Norwich Evening News: Dan Skipper, chief executive at Age UK Norwich Dan Skipper, chief executive at Age UK Norwich (Image: Age UK Norwich)

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Dan Skipper, chief executive of Age UK Norwich, said: “Our one-to-one personalised coaching is making a big impact in a relatively short space of time.” 

Not only is there a distinct impact on the mental wellbeing of the participants but is has proven to reduce blood pressure by 11-12pc.  

Some participants have said the programme has meant they have “been able to reduce [their] medication” and that it has been “a real eye opener”.

Get involved and find out more about the programme at ageuknorwich.org.uk.

Read the full article here

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