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2018-19 highlights from the Active Older People (APPHLE) HIT

16 May 2019

Professor Selena Gray and Karen Lloyd, Directors of the Active Older People Health Integration Team (APPHLE), give an update on their work in 2018-19.

Considerable progress has been made against both the high level APPHLE aim to increase levels of physical activity amongst older people (55+) and our updated detailed objectives to deliver means of helping people to access activities. The 2017 Bristol City Quality of Life survey data showed that over half the city’s older population now report that they do 150 mins activity or 75 mins of vigorous activity per week, but there are still significant geographical differences across the city:

  • Over 50 years: 58.4 per cent
  • Over 65 years: 59.2 per cent
  • Whole population 16 years and over: 74 per cent (range 45 per cent to 76 per cent by ward)

This compares very well with data from the 2011-13 survey, in which only 36 per cent of those aged 55 and over, and 37 per cent of those aged 65 years and over, reported that they exercised for 30 mins at least five times a week. Whilst this appears to be a significant improvement, some caution needs to applied, given the slightly different questions asked by the two surveys.

Increasing access to physical activity

APPHLE worked with the social prescribing leads in North Bristol to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity for older people and developed a clinical champion training session for social prescribers and primary care teams.

Social prescribing hubs now include referral pathways to:

  • strength and balance classes: rolled out through Public Health as “Staying Steady” falls prevention programme with five locality based hubs established across the city
  • opportunities that include exposure to outdoors: in partnership with the West of England Nature Partnership and WellAware, an audit of current provision was completed to inform a novel Blue Care Directory (activities in, on and by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire’s waterways)
  • water-based activities: working in partnership with Young Bristol a multi-activity water-based programme has been launched for older people (kayaking, canoeing, sailing and gig rowing)
  • conservation and horticulture: practitioners’ forum developed with West of England Nature Partnership

Reducing isolation

Working with St Monica Trust, the ACE Neighbours project completed three matches in Hartcliffe, buddying these people and accompanying them so that they could get out of their homes and have ‘someone to go with’ to activities local to them. The project also started in Keynsham in June 2018 and currently has five matches there. The Hartcliffe-Keynsham project will continue until Nov 2019. In Sept 2018 a worker was recruited to implement the project for two years in Filwood and Lawrence Hill.

Establishing standardisation and identity for 55+ activity provision across providers and hubs

The Active Ageing Bristol self-assessment framework tool was drafted in collaboration with end users. Once adopted, the framework will describe ‘minimum operating standards’ for leisure centres and community hub sites to ensure what they provide is age-friendly.

External funding attracted

The team attracted £40,000 from a range of funders, to support community-based physical activities.

2018-19 highlights from the Active Older People (APPHLE) HIT
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