Healthy ageing and frailty

There are many sources of information that we can reach to help us stay healthy and independent through our life. It is important to consider physical and mental ability as well as maintaining social contacts and being part of a community. There are some of our many resources below to help you discover what is available locally.

For some people, perhaps in later life, there can be a gradual decline in ability and health, this is called ‘frailty’. Frailty is defined as a “lack of resource” to fight new problems, for example, infections or falls or change in social environment. Whilst mild, this can be reversible and so support at the right time is important.

Age UK – What is frailty?
Understanding the lives of older people living with frailty. This resource explores the everyday reality and experience of frailty. The report spends time with older people living with frailty in their own homes, exploring the challenges they face and some of the barriers that prevent them from getting the most from their care.

Active Devon can support people to be healthy and active throughout life.

The importance of home exercises

If you would like to attend a strength and balance group like Audrey, please refer yourself on 0300 456 1006. These groups are held in different towns around Torbay and South Devon in community halls that you will need to be able to attend independently; the commitment is for 12 weeks after an initial assessment to ensure these classes are right for you as well as a home exercise programme.

If you are struggling with mobility even at home or have had falls recently then it is best to have a fuller assessment prior to attending any exercise classes. To request an assessment phone 01803 219700 and ask for a mobility or falls assessment.

If you worry about falls, even if you have not had any, complete a self-assessment on the ‘Welcome to Steady on Your Feet Devon‘ website, which gives hints, tips and advice to prevent and reduce falls.

Your local GP practice may refer you to a social prescriber who will assist you to meet your own needs and access groups or services to support you living in the community.

If you are living with a long-term condition the HOPE programme can help you learn how to manage your condition.

Our own home is where we will recover and manage best when immediate medical help is not required. ‘Home First’ helps to promote this and the community teams can support many people in this way. ‘Discharge to Assess‘ pathway of care is when someone is discharged from hospital and parts of the assessment are carried out at home. The community, or intermediate care teams will support this pathway.

For information to help you decide where is best to get medical support from, see our urgent and emergency care page.

Contact details for our community health and wellbeing teams.

There are many local opportunities to join clubs and groups to help you get out to meet people. Local libraries hold much information on these as well as the websites listed below.

The Social Prescriber, based in GP practices, will work with you to explore your individual needs and develop a plan with you to help create positive life changes. The personalised support can be delivered over a number of sessions; this will give you the time and confidence to work on the underlying issues which are affecting your overall health and wellbeing. The Social Prescriber will signpost you to services, agencies, groups and organisations that would benefit you, for practical and emotional support. Contact your GP surgery for contact details.

Community Builders encourage people of all ages to get involved in their neighbourhood. With extensive local knowledge, your Community Builder can connect you with like-minded people, groups or organisations in your community. The Community Builders are employed by Torbay Community Development Trust. We have seen lives transformed when people of all ages work alongside their Community Builder to bring positive changes to the place where they live.

Tel: 01803 212638

There is now a range of technology and a wide range of equipment to support people in their own homes one example of this is the community alarm that can be worn around the neck or wrist. When the alarm button is pressed the call centre will be dialled and you will be able to speak to a call handler who can alert your key holders to support you with your needs.

Safe and Well provides resources for information, self-assessment, local equipment services and Telecare.

Independent Living Centre (Devon-wide) is where trained therapists can advise you on suitable equipment.

Caring can be demanding, support is available in Torbay and South Devon.

These informative videos help inform those who are at risk of falling and their carers how to prevent falling, how to manage if they fall and ten top tips for care home and hospitals for fall prevention.

There may be times in your life when you think about the consequences of becoming seriously ill or disabled. This may be at a time of ill health or as a result of a life changing event, or it may simply be because you are the sort of person who likes to plan ahead.

There are advance care plans which allow you to make plans in advance.

Treatment Escalation Forms are completed so that anyone needing urgent medical care has already decided whether they would want to be resuscitated. Often these are agreed whilst in hospital but they can be done with your GP too. People can change their mind about their decision at any point and the decision will be reached in discussion with doctors / nurses and any relevant next of kin / advocates.

Planning for the future / dying well takes planning

Asking ourselves ‘What matters to me?’ helps us to plan for the future.

Our answers could be about family, jobs, holidays, education, where we live, what we eat, what we love to do, what we don’t want.

Considering choices that would influence how you live with significant illness or at the end of our lives has many benefits. The following resources will help you talk about it, plan for it, and record your wishes.

Rowcroft have excellent resources to help explore what is available on their ‘Planning for the Future Hub‘.

Learning to live well with a diagnosis of dementia is important for people and their carers.

For helpful information, see our dementia video library.

Finding out what a good care home looks like can help you to make choices about your care. Here are some sites that give advice on how to choose a care home

Disability information

We have a range of information sheets for those living with a disability.

Joint Formulary and Referral Website

The Joint Formulary and Referral Guide website is open access, designed for community health and social care staff. You may find some relevant information here.