Jan 01

Optimism And Stubbornness ‘Can Help You Live Longer’


Researchers from the University of Rome La Sapienza and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have carried out a study looking at the psychological traits that can help people live longer and happier lives.

The team spoke to residents in rural Italian communities who are aged between 90 and 101, as well as interviewing their younger relatives, aged between 51 and 75. They found that all of those who lived into their 90s tended to have similar personality traits.

Among them were positivity, a strong work ethic and stubbornness, although the researchers also highlighted their strong connection to family, the land and religion. The team also noted that many of the people they spoke to are still working in their homes or on their land.

Anna Scelzo, one of the study’s authors, commented: “This tendency to control the environment suggests notable grit that is balanced by a need to adapt to changing circumstances.”

Senior author of the study Dilip V. Jeste, MD, said that exploring the lives of those who not only live longer, but who live well, “enhances our understanding of health and functional capacities in all age groups”.

Staying in your own home as you age appears to be one of the things that helps people stay independent and happy. That may mean making modifications to your property to make it viable for you to remain there.

Installing walk in power baths is one option for modifying your home to make activities like bathing easier and safer.

The strong sense of family that helps the communities in Italy may also be something we start to return to in the UK, with one estate agent recently suggesting that multigenerational living could grow in popularity. One in six of the people surveyed said they’d love to live like this.

Aug 29

Hidden Costs Of Arthritis Revealed


A new campaign has been launched to draw attention to the hidden costs of arthritis, not only for the British economy and health service, but also for the individuals suffering from the condition and their families.

Research published by Arthritis Research UK revealed that 25.1 million working days are lost every year as a result of arthritis, with this expected to increase to 25.9 million days by 2030.

The two main types of arthritis people suffer from in the UK are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, with the charity estimating that £118.9 billion will be spent on the two forms of the condition by the NHS over the next ten years.

Worryingly, 76 per cent of people suffering from one of these forms of the debilitating condition believe it affects their family and social lives, with just over half (53 per cent) saying they feel as though they’re a nuisance to their families.

The charity also stressed that a big part of the problem is that arthritis is an ‘invisible’ condition, as many who suffer from it don’t display any outward signs despite being in considerable pain.

Journalist and broadcaster Julian Worricker revealed that he’d always thought of arthritis as an older person’s illness before his diagnosis in his 30s.

“Living with arthritis makes even the most mundane tasks difficult but it’s made that much harder when people around you don’t understand what you’re going through,” he stated.

Making modifications to your home, such as by installing walk in power baths, can be one way of helping someone manage daily tasks, but only when they’re in their own home.

Earlier this month, Arthritis Research UK called on Public Health England to look in detail at how people who suffer from long-term health conditions often also suffer from arthritis, which worsens their quality of life, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy reported.

May 09

Being Active ‘Important’ For Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis


The importance of exercise and being physically active for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been highlighted.

Writing for the Huffington Post, Dr Wendy Holden, a consultant rheumatologist at North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and medical advisor for Arthritis Action, explained that people who suffer from the condition can end up with more severe disabilities if they don’t remain physically active.

She cited research by Andrew Lemmey from the University of Bangor, which found that a lack of physical activity in people with RA can cause greater damage than previously thought.

Because many people with RA are very inactive and suffer from significant muscle loss, they can become severely disabled even when the arthritis is controlled. She also pointed to another study which showed that the time people spend waiting for outpatient appointments in hospital is the perfect opportunity to introduce short periods of exercise.

Carrying out simple exercises and following an exercise plan can help people with RA stay active and improve their quality of life.

Making modifications at home, such as fitting walk in power baths, could also help people continue to carry out everyday activities without assistance for longer.

According to the State of musculoskeletal health 2017 report by Arthritis Research UK, over 400,000 people in the UK have RA and of those, one third will have stopped walking within two years of the onset of the condition.

In addition, the organisation estimates that the condition costs the UK economy between £3.8 and £4.8 billion per year.



Dec 13

Enfield Council To Ban Mobility Scooters On Pavements?


Disabled people may find it harder to get around certain parts of London if one local council is successful in its campaign to see mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs that can go no faster than 8mph banned from going on the pavement.

Enfield Council is looking into using a public space protection order to bring in a number of new offences, launching a consultation to ask locals what they think of the proposals – which also include fines for those sleeping rough, Politics.co.uk reports.

Liberty, a human rights group, has now written to the local authority urging them to abandon these plans, noting that such moves would discriminate against disabled people.

“It is common sense – using your wheelchair on the pavement to stay safe isn’t antisocial behaviour and vulnerable people should be helped off the streets as the cold weather sets in, not slapped with impossible fines and criminal records. Enfield deserves better – the council must abandon these plans now,” Rosie Brighouse, legal officer for Liberty, was quoted as saying.

Currently, you do not need a licence to drive your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter but you may need to register it. Class 3 invalid carriages can be used on the road and have a maximum speed of 8mph on the road and 4mph off it. Class 2 invalid carriages can’t be used on the road unless there isn’t a pavement and these only have a top speed of 4mph. You will need to be 14 or over in order to drive a class 3 invalid carriage.

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