Guide to living with
ill health in later life
Part 1 - Introduction
No matter how well we have taken care of ourselves in the past, by the later
of life some of us will be coping with illness. We might have to cope with one
or two conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, pulmonary disease, cancer or
Parkinson’s disease. Our sight and hearing are more likely to be impaired, and
diabetes and dementia are on the increase. Currently there are an estimated 4
million older people in the UK who have a limiting long standing illness. This
equates to 40% of all people over 65, so whatever our situation there are plenty
of others in the same boat and who we can potentially talk to and learn from.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Thanks to early diagnosis,
better treatments and
living aids we are living longer and have
fewer disabilities with these conditions than in the past.
Many of us still enjoy life and feel happy most days even if we have to live
with recurring symptoms. In an Age UK survey 82% of older people said that in
the last two weeks, they felt happy or contented either most days or every day.
It seems that the older we become, the more likely we are to experience illness
but we are also more likely to “count our blessings”.
You may already have looked at our Guide to staying
fit and healthy in later life and in particular the final section of this
about Taking Remedial Action if your health starts to deteriorate. This guide
takes a deeper look at living with ill health in retirement and some of the
ideas and resources available to us to help make the most of later life despite
any condition we may have. It does not go into specific conditions but you will
find some great articles on a vast array of conditions, ailments, treatments,
reports, support organisations and interesting topics and viewpoints on our
We are also in a time of rapid strides in health research and breakthroughs so
it’s well worth keeping an eye on what’s going on that might be relevant to us.
Our own Healthwise each month highlights latest health news as of course does the national press.
You might want to search for specific information or conditions using the site
search facility at the top right of the home page (above the “free newsletter
sign up box”). Also look at the different aspects of our Health section, especially the A-Z of Health.