Women need to start as early as possible to prepare for a healthy old age, claim researchers at the University of Newcastle and University of Queensland in a joint study.
Not just individuals, but communities and healthcare systems need to be involved in the health and social changes connected to ageing, the researchers state in their 'The Women, Health and Ageing' report which is part of an ongoing study that involves more than 40,000 women who have been repeatedly surveyed since 1996. The report was released at the Australian Association of Gerontology NSW Rural Conference.
The study found that although most older women were living with multiple health conditions and increasing levels of disability, the most common one being arthritis, many were still actively involved in 'providing care for others and making major contributions to their communities.'
A note of caution also came through in the report about the health status of young women today as they started to age, for right now they face the problems posed by obesity and smoking.
"Ageing well needs healthy inputs throughout life and requires starting early," warns Professor Julie Byles from the University of Newcastle in the study.