Waiting patiently: something to put up with as we get older?

Waiting patiently: something to put up with as we get older?
Waiting patiently: something to put up with as we get older?

As we get older, our quality of life is just as important as it ever has been. Understandably though, aging has implications on our health with older adults experiencing more health-related issues than younger people.

According to recent estimates, 59% of those aged 65 or older in the UK, have two or more serious health conditions. By 2035, this is expected to rise to around 70%1.

Older population the biggest users of elective care

So, as you would expect, those over 65 in England, generally access health services more regularly than younger people. For example, in December 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were more than 3.3 million hospital admissions for people aged 65 and over, which made up more than a third of admissions that month2.

And the over 65s are greater users of elective care than any other age group. Common types of elective procedures for this age group include joint replacements and eye operations. To put this into perspective, in 2017 there were almost five times as many elective hospital admissions for people aged over 70 compared to those in their 30s2.

Some wait more than 12 months

Recent research from Independent Age, revealed that record-high waiting lists have led to delays of more than 12 months for life-changing operations for one in three people over 65. They also found that 71% of respondents reported being in pain while they wait, with over half experiencing pain everyday3.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said “Many older people are living in daily pain and experiencing declining mental and physical health…Their wait for surgery is negatively affecting their mood and wellbeing, and many have told us they feel frustrated and forgotten3.”

It doesn’t need to be like this for your clients in later-life

There is talk that NHS waiting lists could carry on growing for years4 which could be a concern for your clients.

Health+, private health insurance from The Exeter could offer reassurance. By investing in their future-health now your clients can be better prepared to look after their health as they get older. So in later life, they won’t have to accept the inevitability of ‘waiting patiently’ for medical care or the physical and mental consequences that come with it.

And it’s worth knowing that Health+ can cover members up to the age of 79*.

You matter more

What’s more, all health insurance members get access to our health and wellbeing app, HealthWise. It’s been fantastic to see our older members making the most of the services available to them through the app. Our remote GP, physio and registered dietitian services have proved to be the most popular with our older members. In fact, almost one in three remote GP appointments in 2022 have been used by members over 60 years of age.

HealthWise has been designed to keep our members in the best of health and can be used at any time. Members can use it regardless of any pre-existing conditions they may have and without claiming on their policy.

Getting older doesn’t mean your clients will have to accept less from their healthcare in the future. To find out how Health+ could benefit your clients, book a briefing

*Terms and conditions apply and pre-existing conditions may not be covered.
HealthWise is provided by Square Health.

1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/volunteers-health-study-illness-b1994702.html
2. https://www.independentage.org/policy-and-research/patiently-waiting
3. https://www.independentage.org/news-media/press-releases/majority-of-older-people-waiting-for-treatment-daily-pain-as-delays-to
4. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/dec/01/up-to-12m-people-could-be-on-nhs-waiting-list-in-england-by-2025

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