Aston University works with ExtraCare on Well-being Study

Healthy Ageing

Aston University has recently entered into an exciting partnership with leading health charity, ExtraCare Charitable Trust, to study the impact of their well-being programme on older people.

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust is a charity that helps older people to live a healthier, active and more independent lifestyle in its specially built retirement villages and smaller housing developments. ExtraCare’s well-being programme, the first of its kind in the UK, focuses on the impact of the charity’s service on the long term well-being of residents and associated care costs.

Academics from Aston University’s Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) are conducting a 3 year longitudinal project to evaluate the well-being programme. The research will include a range of assessments such as recording blood pressure scores, cognitive testing scores and mobility assessment scores. In addition, the study will also look in depth at how physical health, psychological health and people's environment and opportunities all interact.

Dr Carol Holland, Director of Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) said: ‘In these financially constrained times there are real concerns that preventative measures to help people stay healthy will be seen as a low priority. Yet it is vital to look at the value of illness prevention, not just in terms of detecting problems early, but to support a person's well-being and quality of life. If the need for someone to go into hospital is reduced, it also reduces costs on a hard-pressed NHS purse.’

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said: ‘We have known for a long time that our well-being work has a positive impact on the lives of our residents and the Charity's significant investment in this work has been of great value. ExtraCare's Well-being Programme has won numerous national awards.’

He added: ‘Independent research will be helpful, not least because an external, professional organisation may provide evidence that helps shape and support the future service and even support applications for vital funding. We're delighted that we are able to work with Aston's Research Centre, which has a strong reputation in this field.'

The research initiative coincides with the Department of Health’s recently published white paper ‘Caring for our future’ which sets out the vision for a reformed care and support system and focuses on people’s wellbeing and support to help them stay independent for as long as possible.

ExtraCare operates 3,591 homes within 13 retirement villages and 17 smaller housing developments. Their latest Village, Pannel Croft in Newtown, Birmingham, is due to open in November.

For further details about the programme, please contact Carol Holland School of Health Life and Sciences, Aston University on 0121 204 4063. To find out more about how your organisation can benefit from Aston’s academic expertise, contact the Business Partnership Team on 0121 204 4242 or email bpu@aston.ac.uk.

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