"If we can raise the money for Going for Old, this will be a long term investment in the future health of everyone. "
Angela White, known on social media as The Running Granny, aims to set a new Guinness World Record for oldest woman to run from John O’ Groats to Lands End. She hopes to raise £25,000 to develop her social enterprise, Going for Old, which aims to motivate and inspire people to improve their own physical health and mental wellbeing.
During her career as a senior hospital doctor, Angela took a special interest in elderly patients. In addition to her surgical work, she focussed on care outside the hospital environment. Through The Running Granny and Going for Old, she aims to change the perceptions of what it means to grow old and to help people improve their quality of life as they age.
A report by The Kings Fund showed that the treatment and care of people with long term health conditions (LTCs) such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, depression and anxiety, accounts for 70% of the UK’s health and care budgets. 14% of the population under the age of 40 have at least one LTC, but the proportion rises to 58% over the age of 60. Currently 15 million people, around one quarter of the UK population, have at least one Long Term Condition.
The growth of obesity is making matters worse, as obesity often leads to other LTCs. Currently over 60% of adults are clinically either overweight or obese. And, amongst children, the figures are 10% at the age of 5 years and 20% at the age of 11. This predisposes these children to developing associated conditions such as diabetes at an early age.
The long term health conditions are largely preventable. Going for Old aims to answer the question - what can we do to help ourselves? It will provide education and information across different media channels to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyle choices with a view to reducing the number of long term health conditions, whilst improving quality of life. It is already apparent that the UK’s health and care budgets cannot meet the demand of treating Long Term Conditions and that the problem cannot be solved by simply providing more money.
Angela is passionate about making a difference: “If we can raise the money for Going for Old, this will be a long term investment in the future health of everyone. If we can reduce and reverse the growth in preventable LTCs then, as well as benefiting ourselves, perhaps we can also help our NHS to continue to deliver all the services we would like for future generations.”