Active Cumbria announces new programme to support older adults in Cumbria to be more active

A new programme to support older adults and particularly those with or at risk of long-term health conditions, to be more active is set to launch in Cumbria.

Live Longer Better is a national programme led by former Chief Knowledge officer to the NHS Sir Muir Gray. The movement aims to enable people to live longer better, reduce the need for health and social care and reverse the effects of lockdown.

Active Cumbria, part of Cumbria County Council’s Public Health Team, is one of several Active Partnerships from across England involved in the Live Longer Better national programme and will be officially launching the Live Longer Better in Cumbria programme in November.

The face-to-face event, to be held at Energus in Workington, will provide a platform to unite sectors and partners across Cumbria who share the mission to improve the health and quality of life of older adults. This professional development and networking event is an opportunity to explore ageism, health inequalities and use physical activity as a vehicle for change.

Active Cumbria Senior Manager for Development, Bruce Lawson, said “The launch of the Live Longer Better in Cumbria programme is a significant step towards us achieving our vision whereby everyone in Cumbria is enjoying an active lifestyle.  We have a clear role to play in reducing health and wellbeing inequalities in our county and the Live Longer Better in Cumbria programme will enable us to directly support partners working with older adults and together provide opportunities for them to be more active.”

In support of the programme, a £250,000 dedicated funding source ‘The Reconditioning Fund’ will be available for partners working with older adults to apply to develop new and increased opportunities to be active.  The fund will particularly focus on activities which increase physical ability and movement, resilience and healthspan; reduce the risk of, and delay or prevent dementia; and prevent and minimise the effects of disease and multimorbidity including long COVID.

Keynote speakers at the event will include Sir Muir Gray and Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox, who will share his vision for reducing health inequalities for older adults in Cumbria.

Sir Muir Gray said; “The elixir of life has been discovered and will be made available in Cumbria on 24 November, not from a bottle but through words because we now have the knowledge to enable people to live better for longer. The diseases we fear most, dementia and frailty, can be prevented or delayed. People can improve their mental and physical ability, no matter their age nor how many diseases they may have, and this will reduce the need for health and social care. But this is not just about being active in isolation or having more done for them it is about older people doing even more for others, having purpose and a sense of achievement. We do not need a reorganisation we need a revolution.”

Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox said; “I’m delighted to be supporting the launch event for this exciting programme. As Cumbria’s older population continues to grow in numbers, it’s vital that initiatives such as Live Longer Better in Cumbria encourage our older adult communities to participate in more physical activity. The preventative benefits of activity are widely known, and this programme aligns with our aims of reducing health inequalities in Cumbria, enabling our older adults to enjoy a longer and healthier life.”  

The Live Longer Better in Cumbria launch event takes place on 24 November 2022 at Energus, Lillyhall, Workington from 9am – 12.30pm followed by a light lunch, in association with the Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative. Healthcare professionals, charitable organisations and physical activity providers who are currently working with or have an interest in working with older adults are actively encouraged to attend and can register their interest by e-mail to clare.paling@cumbria.gov.uk .


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