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Agenda item

Annual Health Public Report

Minutes:

Julie Billett, Director of Public Health and Agama Keegan, Public Health were present for discussion of this item.

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         Healthy ageing, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age, in terms of quality of life, to be independent and safe in their environment, have health and care provided closer to home, and to be supported to remain connected to their community when they want to be

·         In 2017 there were an estimated 20786 older adults living in Islington, and 9% of the population is aged 65 years and over, and 1% is over 85 years or older

·         The sharpest projected population increase is expected in the very old, i.e.persons over 85 years and above, and within, the older adult population in terms of their experience of healthy ageing, and many people live long, healthy and independent lives, and many have significant needs that impact on their quality of life

·         Examples of inequalities in physical health and dementia include – deprivation, gender, ethnicity

·         In terms of quality of life -  this is subjective but social isolation and loneliness impact on health and wellbeing and have an adverse impact. Fuel poverty is also an aspect of financial insecurity, and can significantly impact health and wellbeing. It is estimated that around 8% of Islington households with residents aged 60 or over are fuel poor, and this is expected to increase

·         There are significant inequalities in quality of life amongst older residents in Islington

·         Quality of life – everyone has a role in enhancing community connectedness. Small acts of neighbourliness and connecting with others builds a more cohesive, connected community. Services commissioned and delivered by the Council, include maximising social value through the supply chain to promote and support quality of life in older age can contribute to this

·         The social prescribing model, and service, presents a key opportunity and a means for linking people into VCS, and community assets and into services to tackle isolation and loneliness, and other key deteminants. There is also a need to take a holistic approach to wellbeing, and quality of life, in older age

·         Environmental and social determinants of healthy ageing – the proportion of older residents who live in social housing is particularly high in Islington, and this presents an opportunity to support many residents to remain independent and well in later life. The quality of public places and spaces is important for everyone, and different things make a particular difference to older people. Accessibility to safe, comfortable, affordable and safe public transport is a key enabler, encouraging older people to access services, maintain active lives, and take part in leisure and social activities 

·         Environmental and social determinants of healthy ageing - key recommendations include, as the Council are social landlords that they should develop the relationships with older tenants, adopt a healthy streets approach, and incorporate aspects of age-friendly cities into policies, plans and local schemes

·         There also needs to be affordable and accessible social homes in Islington

·         Managing major life changes – Key recommendations – the Council should develop strategies and policies, in order to support older workers in the workplace, provide opportunities to get involved and volunteer, and to ensure that voluntary and community health services have a key role to play in the identification of carers, and ensuring carers are proactively supported to access information, advice and support

·         Health and Care systems – the experience of old age varies significantly from individual to individual, and a lot can be done to prevent ill health and maintain wellbeing. Key recommendations include – health and care professionals, and providers across the whole system, should consider how a more strengths based approach could be developed in their services, and systematically prioritise and promote prevention across the whole life course

·         Social prescribing and other approaches should be developed to connect older adults with the rich and diverse community assets

·         Overarching themes and messages – good health is a key foundation of a good later life, but ageing well is much more than just good physical and mental health in older age. A whole life course approach to healthy ageing is needed. People in mid and later life can benefit from interventions that promote wellbeing, prevent poor health or deterioration, detect problems early, and build resilience. Age friendly communities are inclusive communities and can benefit everyone

·         It was noted that for data collection purposes 65 was the age referred to as an older person, however some residents had health problems that impacted on younger age groups than this

·         In response to a question about the impact of Brexit on public health it was stated that work is taking place with EU staff employed and that in the longer term food standards and medical supplies need to be assured

·         Concern was expressed at the risk of loneliness and that some members of poorer communities live a long number of years in poor health. Healthy ageing is an issue for all residents

·         Data collection needed to improve on social isolation and locality working may assist in this, however a whole number of factors are involved housing, health and social care support. Social isolation does not just affect the elderly but also the working age population

·         Reference was made to the fact that Government funding reductions has led to the closure of day centres and luncheon clubs etc. that provided support for those at risk of social isolation

·         It was stated that the development of personal payments for residents for care did enable them to access services that are more appropriate for them

·         In terms of the Annual Report it was noted that this was an ‘influencing’ report on other parts of the Council and partners to raise awareness of the issues and an action plan would be formulated

 

The Chair thanked Julie Billett and Apama Keegan for their presentation

 

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