The background of this project is based on the proven positive effect of physical activity and healthy nutrition on older people as they age and how healthy living can promote autonomy, independence and overall mental and physical wellbeing into older age.
Contrary to what many believe, you are never too old to exercise. The benefits of exercise have been demonstrated in various populations of older people from the healthy to the frail. This includes those with multiple, chronic medical conditions such as dementia and depression and those who have experienced major life events such as trauma, surgery, or bereavement. However, despite the proven benefits, the majority of the older population in Europe do not get sufficient physical activity. One of the reasons for this is lack of public awareness as well as limited availability of active aging programmes and, for many people, difficulty accessing such programmes as they get older, particularly for those older people who are almost or entirely housebound.
Another common problem in the older population of Europe is poor nutrition. Over 20 million older people in the EU are at risk of “undernutrition”. Many medical conditions along with gradual decline in physical capabilities can hugely affect our food and cooking choices as we age, putting older people at significant risk of malnutrition. Actively maintaining healthy nutrition is therefore even more important for older people. It reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions, or it can help us to manage them better.