Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone is the focus for this year's World Health Day, with a call to action to eliminate health inequities and lack of access.
Having access to the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition according to the World Health Organisation.
Yet, unfortunately, our world is an unequal one. As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others - entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age.
World Health Day allows us an opportunity to reflect and appreciate how lucky ware we are in Australia with public access within the public health system for free or at a lower cost through Medicare and access to a private health system.
According to Professor Collette Browning, La Trobe University nowadays, Australians are also living longer than any previous generation, and, for many people, old age is a positive period in their lives.
In Australia, older people have benefited from a good quality health system and many are entering old age healthier than their parents did.
However, many of us will age with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, sensory loss, mental health issues or cognitive impairment.
The majority of the health problems we experience as we get older are affected by our lifestyle. Living well in old age means we need to understand how our lifestyle affects our health and wellbeing as we age.
In The Guide to Living Well, a wonderful resource on good health, Professor Browning gives some simple tips on how to ensure we stay healthy. These include;
- Remaining physically active
- Eating and sleeping well
- Having satisfying social relationships
- Managing stress
Probably one of the most important elements to your good health is communication. It is important that you are not afraid to talk to your family about your concerns and plan how to address these worries.
At Five Good Friends, we are here to work with our Members and families. We want to make sure you have the right access to the broad range of health and community support that can help you improve your health and wellbeing.
Five Good Friends mentor and ambassador Ita Buttrose says:
"No one knows what the future holds as they grow older, but ageing well has much to do with the choices people make for what perhaps is the most important chapter of their life’s journey."