The UK is an aging country. Older adults at least 65 years old now account for over 12 million of its population. On average, people now live until 81 years old, thanks to better medicine and lifestyle.
For any country, though, aging can be a double-edged sword. It can mean that more can support the workforce and, thus, the economy. But longevity also correlates to an increased risk of chronic illness. A lifelong disease becomes a burden not only for these older people but for the country’s healthcare system at some point.
To help these seniors maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible, health experts suggest a modified lifestyle. For example, they need to be active.
How Physical Activity Improve a Senior’s Lifespan
Physical activity, including exercise and walking, offers a wide range of benefits for older adults:
1. It Improves or Retains Their Mobility
Aging is a major risk factor for falling and fractures. About 30% of 65-year-olds and above will eventually fall at least once a year in the UK. The percentage increases to 50% for those at least 80 years old.
Falls are the primary reason these seniors end up in hospitals’ ERs for admission or surgery. They may also worsen the likelihood of permanent disability and even death.
As the person ages, their joints usually stiffen. They are also more prone to musculoskeletal and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s or arthritis that can negatively affect balance, body coordination, and flexibility.
Exercise, on the other hand, can help promote muscle growth or retain muscle mass. Nordic walking enhances one’s gait and improves balance and coordination without hurting the joints since it’s a low-impact activity.
2. Physical Activity Reduces Death Due to Cardiovascular Events
In 2017, the American Geriatrics Society revealed that moderate and high levels of physical activity, particularly among seniors, can reduce the likelihood of dying of cardiovascular events such as strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
According to the team, exercise can help control the major risk factors for these conditions. These include obesity, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or hypertension, insulin resistance or diabetes, and even stress.
The Role Financial Advisors Play in Keeping UK Seniors Healthy
Maintaining the overall health and well-being of the UK’s senior adults doesn’t only rely on the efforts of the individuals or their families. Instead, may stakeholders share the responsibility. That includes financial advisors.
There’s one good reason financial specialists strongly suggest that advisors, even pension trustees, work with experts in investment advice. These seniors need a constant stream of money to support their healthy lifestyle.
Many studies already show a link between income and health. The absolute income hypothesis says the relationship between these two factors is both concave and positive. The higher the income, the more likely they can maintain good health even during their sunset years.
Meanwhile, a position paper by the American Academy of Family Physicians cited that poverty is a factor that can affect the health of a patient. It is also associated with adverse health outcomes. Those who live on a low income are likely to have easy access to nutritious food, let alone professional help for physical therapies.
In the UK, about 33% of UK retirees will depend on their pension for their needs. Some may eventually invest them through a trustee or a financial advisor in the hopes they can still grow these funds.
Investment experts in the UK can then guide these advisors, so they can make smart decisions on where to place the funds. They can also provide the best pieces of advice for their clients.
In turn, they can:
- Help lower the stress levels of these seniors — Chronic stress can affect not only physical or mental health. It can worsen signs of depression and anxiety. Stress can also increase the odds of developing heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes due to high inflammation levels. All these may reduce the person’s ability to participate in any physical activity.
- Ensure seniors will have sufficient funds to support their medical needs — Many seniors need to take several medications daily, so they can function properly. With convenient access to cash, these adults will have enough funds to avoid undertaking or skipping medicine.
- Allow seniors to save — Focusing on health and wellness isn’t just about longevity. It is also a cost-effective strategy. By preventing or reducing the risk of severe disease, older adults can save more money on healthcare.
While people age, residents in the UK can also extend their excellent quality of life for as long as they could. But they cannot do it alone. Several factors need to support them, and that includes their investment team.