Social life important for older people

Enjoying an active social life and keeping mobile are very important for older people, new research has found. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the study revealed such is the significance of these relationships that individuals will go to extreme lengths to keep them going.

The investigation, which was developed by Ann Bowling - a Professor of health care for older adults at Kingston University London and St George's University of London - revealed some elderly people are using arm extensions, replacement knees and binoculars to help them carry on playing bowls into their 90s.

Professor Bowling said one of the keys for people being happy in later life is their resourcefulness.

"These social and psychological resources enable people to make the most of their skills, opportunities and abilities so they can compensate when they can no longer do things," she added.

A recent study by Dr Louise Ritchie from the University of Edinburgh, Dr Duncan Sim and Dr Edward Edgerton at the University of the West of Scotland, presented at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference in Glasgow, showed that the design of a care home can influence the activity of its residents.