Cradle To Grave [Radio Scotland]

Episodes

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A Good Death20180103

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives. This week, end of life care and having a 'good death'.

It's at the end of life that we rely on the NHS the most and good communication is often the key to a good death.

Margaret visits a Death Café in Dumfries-shire where strangers come together to discuss any aspect of death over coffee and cake. Dr Naomi Richards of Glasgow University explains how the death café movement has spread around the world in reaction to the over-professionalization of talking about death.

For Margaret, caring for patients as they are dying is an enormous privilege, but that doesn't mean it's an easy part of the job. She asks fellow GP and palliative care specialist Dr Euan Paterson what he thinks patients need from doctors in their last months, weeks and days.

We have a midwife to accompany us as we bring new life into the world, so how about having a companion to support us as we leave the world? We hear from Hillary Peppiette, a solicitor who is training to become a death doula. Hilary also provides information on legal issues including writing your will and Power of Attorney.

Do Not Resuscitate documentation is also discussed with people near the end of life. Dr Dan Beckett explains the crucial difference between a cardiac arrest, which has a reversible cause, and where CPR is sometimes successful, and natural dying, when the heart stops because the body itself is dying. Talking about what kind of care and treatment we would like and what we don't want to happen can provide peace of mind for someone who is dying and their loved ones.

Throughout, Linda Tierney, who has terminal cancer, shares her experience of planning for her own death.

Senior Years20180102

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we've reached the 'senior years'.

Multimorbidity, when a person has several chronic conditions, becomes more common as we age. Professor Frances Mair of Glasgow University says this can create a 'burden of treatment' where patients expend a lot of time and energy managing their conditions, navigating a healthcare system that isn't joined up and trying to make sense of contradictory advice. She explains ways the NHS can reduce the amount of time patients spend going to appointments.

As we get older, quality of life is more of an issue. Margaret catches up with Sir Muir Gray, a passionate advocate for active living in later life, who says it's never too late to improve your fitness levels and that no matter how stiff and slow you've become or how many medical conditions you have, you can benefit from doing more exercise.

After a fall, illness or operation people often become less active. Margaret visits the Rehabilitation Ward at Midlothian Community Hospital where Dr Trish Cantley is on a crusade to combat what's become known as 'PJ Paralysis' where patients lose fitness lying in bed. And we check out a Steady Steps class run by Edinburgh Leisure which aims to build confidence and prevent falls. The participants certainly prove you can have fun keeping fit at any age!

02Childhood2017073120171227 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. Programme 2 focuses on 'Childhood'.

Rates of childhood obesity in Scotland are amongst the worst in the world. Whilst associated risks of diabetes and heart disease are well known, obesity is also the second highest preventable cause of cancer. Dr Margaret McCartney explores what can be done at a local and national level. She visits a community centre in Bridgeton where the Peek Project are advocating healthy outside play. While the children play, the parents are supported in cooking a healthy meal which they all enjoy together at the end of the day.

She also hears a more positive tale about Scotland's teeth. Initiatives like Childsmile have seen improvements in tooth decay, though there's still a way to go. She visits Dr Nicola Innes at the dental hospital in Dundee to hear about some of the latest treatments. Also, with dental extractions still the number one reason that children receive a general anaesthetic in hospital, she asks what more can be done.

02Childhood2017073120180403 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. Programme 2 focuses on 'Childhood'.

Rates of childhood obesity in Scotland are amongst the worst in the world. Whilst associated risks of diabetes and heart disease are well known, obesity is also the second highest preventable cause of cancer. Dr Margaret McCartney explores what can be done at a local and national level. She visits a community centre in Bridgeton where the Peek Project are advocating healthy outside play. While the children play, the parents are supported in cooking a healthy meal which they all enjoy together at the end of the day.

She also hears a more positive tale about Scotland's teeth. Initiatives like Childsmile have seen improvements in tooth decay, though there's still a way to go. She visits Dr Nicola Innes at the dental hospital in Dundee to hear about some of the latest treatments. Also, with dental extractions still the number one reason that children receive a general anaesthetic in hospital, she asks what more can be done.

02Childhood2017073120180408 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. Programme 2 focuses on 'Childhood'.

Rates of childhood obesity in Scotland are amongst the worst in the world. Whilst associated risks of diabetes and heart disease are well known, obesity is also the second highest preventable cause of cancer. Dr Margaret McCartney explores what can be done at a local and national level. She visits a community centre in Bridgeton where the Peek Project are advocating healthy outside play. While the children play, the parents are supported in cooking a healthy meal which they all enjoy together at the end of the day.

She also hears a more positive tale about Scotland's teeth. Initiatives like Childsmile have seen improvements in tooth decay, though there's still a way to go. She visits Dr Nicola Innes at the dental hospital in Dundee to hear about some of the latest treatments. Also, with dental extractions still the number one reason that children receive a general anaesthetic in hospital, she asks what more can be done.

02Childhood2017073120180408 (RS)
20180403 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. Programme 2 focuses on 'Childhood'.

Rates of childhood obesity in Scotland are amongst the worst in the world. Whilst associated risks of diabetes and heart disease are well known, obesity is also the second highest preventable cause of cancer. Dr Margaret McCartney explores what can be done at a local and national level. She visits a community centre in Bridgeton where the Peek Project are advocating healthy outside play. While the children play, the parents are supported in cooking a healthy meal which they all enjoy together at the end of the day.

She also hears a more positive tale about Scotland's teeth. Initiatives like Childsmile have seen improvements in tooth decay, though there's still a way to go. She visits Dr Nicola Innes at the dental hospital in Dundee to hear about some of the latest treatments. Also, with dental extractions still the number one reason that children receive a general anaesthetic in hospital, she asks what more can be done.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. Programme 2 focuses on 'Childhood'.

Rates of childhood obesity in Scotland are amongst the worst in the world. Whilst associated risks of diabetes and heart disease are well known, obesity is also the second highest preventable cause of cancer. Dr Margaret McCartney explores what can be done at a local and national level. She visits a community centre in Bridgeton where the Peek Project are advocating healthy outside play. While the children play, the parents are supported in cooking a healthy meal which they all enjoy together at the end of the day.

She also hears a more positive tale about Scotland's teeth. Initiatives like Childsmile have seen improvements in tooth decay, though there's still a way to go. She visits Dr Nicola Innes at the dental hospital in Dundee to hear about some of the latest treatments. Also, with dental extractions still the number one reason that children receive a general anaesthetic in hospital, she asks what more can be done.

02Childhood2017073120171227

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. Programme 2 focuses on 'Childhood'.

Rates of childhood obesity in Scotland are amongst the worst in the world. Whilst associated risks of diabetes and heart disease are well known, obesity is also the second highest preventable cause of cancer. Dr Margaret McCartney explores what can be done at a local and national level. She visits a community centre in Bridgeton where the Peek Project are advocating healthy outside play. While the children play, the parents are supported in cooking a healthy meal which they all enjoy together at the end of the day.

She also hears a more positive tale about Scotland's teeth. Initiatives like Childsmile have seen improvements in tooth decay, though there's still a way to go. She visits Dr Nicola Innes at the dental hospital in Dundee to hear about some of the latest treatments. Also, with dental extractions still the number one reason that children receive a general anaesthetic in hospital, she asks what more can be done.

03Teen And Young Adult20170807

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week moves through the teenage years into young adulthood.

We hear a lot about teenage anxiety these days, and there's real concern over access to mental health services for young people. Margaret asks Dr Elaine Lockhart, a psychiatrist at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children, what treatment is available for severe anxiety. She also visits Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, where S6 pupils are acting as Peer Mentors, delivering emotional well being sessions to younger pupils.

As we enter adulthood and move through working and parenting age, problems with housing, money, job insecurity and social deprivation can have dramatic effects on people's mental health. The Deep End project aims to address the complex needs of patients in the most deprived parts of Scotland and help reduce the massive health inequalities between the richest and poorest Scots. Community Links Worker Gerry Mitchell explains how addressing some of the social issues patients face takes the pressure off GPs at a busy practice in Pollok, and we hear from patients who've started an arts and crafts group providing valuable time out and support.

Incontinence affects at staggering 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives, and pregnancy is often where the problems start. Margaret meets physiotherapist turned comedian Elaine Miller, who says that engaging your pelvic floor muscles is cheaper and can be more effective than surgery for many people. Blogger Lucy Brett experienced incontinence throughout her thirties. She describes how it affected her mental as well as physical health.

03Teen and Young Adult2017080720180410 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week moves through the teenage years into young adulthood.

We hear a lot about teenage anxiety these days, and there's real concern over access to mental health services for young people. Margaret asks Dr Elaine Lockhart, a psychiatrist at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children, what treatment is available for severe anxiety. She also visits Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, where S6 pupils are acting as Peer Mentors, delivering emotional well being sessions to younger pupils.

As we enter adulthood and move through working and parenting age, problems with housing, money, job insecurity and social deprivation can have dramatic effects on people's mental health. The Deep End project aims to address the complex needs of patients in the most deprived parts of Scotland and help reduce the massive health inequalities between the richest and poorest Scots. Community Links Worker Gerry Mitchell explains how addressing some of the social issues patients face takes the pressure off GPs at a busy practice in Pollok, and we hear from patients who've started an arts and crafts group providing valuable time out and support.

Incontinence affects at staggering 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives, and pregnancy is often where the problems start. Margaret meets physiotherapist turned comedian Elaine Miller, who says that engaging your pelvic floor muscles is cheaper and can be more effective than surgery for many people. Blogger Lucy Brett experienced incontinence throughout her thirties. She describes how it affected her mental as well as physical health.

03Teen and Young Adult2017080720180415 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week moves through the teenage years into young adulthood.

We hear a lot about teenage anxiety these days, and there's real concern over access to mental health services for young people. Margaret asks Dr Elaine Lockhart, a psychiatrist at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children, what treatment is available for severe anxiety. She also visits Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, where S6 pupils are acting as Peer Mentors, delivering emotional well being sessions to younger pupils.

As we enter adulthood and move through working and parenting age, problems with housing, money, job insecurity and social deprivation can have dramatic effects on people's mental health. The Deep End project aims to address the complex needs of patients in the most deprived parts of Scotland and help reduce the massive health inequalities between the richest and poorest Scots. Community Links Worker Gerry Mitchell explains how addressing some of the social issues patients face takes the pressure off GPs at a busy practice in Pollok, and we hear from patients who've started an arts and crafts group providing valuable time out and support.

Incontinence affects at staggering 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives, and pregnancy is often where the problems start. Margaret meets physiotherapist turned comedian Elaine Miller, who says that engaging your pelvic floor muscles is cheaper and can be more effective than surgery for many people. Blogger Lucy Brett experienced incontinence throughout her thirties. She describes how it affected her mental as well as physical health.

03Teen And Young Adult2017080720180410 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week moves through the teenage years into young adulthood.

We hear a lot about teenage anxiety these days, and there's real concern over access to mental health services for young people. Margaret asks Dr Elaine Lockhart, a psychiatrist at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children, what treatment is available for severe anxiety. She also visits Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, where S6 pupils are acting as Peer Mentors, delivering emotional well being sessions to younger pupils.

As we enter adulthood and move through working and parenting age, problems with housing, money, job insecurity and social deprivation can have dramatic effects on people's mental health. The Deep End project aims to address the complex needs of patients in the most deprived parts of Scotland and help reduce the massive health inequalities between the richest and poorest Scots. Community Links Worker Gerry Mitchell explains how addressing some of the social issues patients face takes the pressure off GPs at a busy practice in Pollok, and we hear from patients who've started an arts and crafts group providing valuable time out and support.

Incontinence affects at staggering 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives, and pregnancy is often where the problems start. Margaret meets physiotherapist turned comedian Elaine Miller, who says that engaging your pelvic floor muscles is cheaper and can be more effective than surgery for many people. Blogger Lucy Brett experienced incontinence throughout her thirties. She describes how it affected her mental as well as physical health.

03Teen And Young Adult2017080720180415 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during childhood.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week moves through the teenage years into young adulthood.

We hear a lot about teenage anxiety these days, and there's real concern over access to mental health services for young people. Margaret asks Dr Elaine Lockhart, a psychiatrist at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Children, what treatment is available for severe anxiety. She also visits Currie Community High School in Edinburgh, where S6 pupils are acting as Peer Mentors, delivering emotional well being sessions to younger pupils.

As we enter adulthood and move through working and parenting age, problems with housing, money, job insecurity and social deprivation can have dramatic effects on people's mental health. The Deep End project aims to address the complex needs of patients in the most deprived parts of Scotland and help reduce the massive health inequalities between the richest and poorest Scots. Community Links Worker Gerry Mitchell explains how addressing some of the social issues patients face takes the pressure off GPs at a busy practice in Pollok, and we hear from patients who've started an arts and crafts group providing valuable time out and support.

Incontinence affects at staggering 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives, and pregnancy is often where the problems start. Margaret meets physiotherapist turned comedian Elaine Miller, who says that engaging your pelvic floor muscles is cheaper and can be more effective than surgery for many people. Blogger Lucy Brett experienced incontinence throughout her thirties. She describes how it affected her mental as well as physical health.

04Middle Age2017081420180417 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we arrive in middle age.

Sexually transmitted infections or STIs tend to be associated with young people, but recently there's been a rise in STIs amongst 45 to 65 year olds. Research by Jenny Dalrymple, a sexual health nurse and researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University, uncovers some of the reasons why people in middle age might take risks. For Deborah Richardson contracting genital herpes was life changing, but she soon learned how to manage the condition.

The NHS in Scotland marks the arrival of middle age with a letter to everyone on their 50th birthday inviting them to take part in bowel cancer screening. Professor Bob Steele explains how effective bowel cancer screening is and Dr Fiona Godlee, editor of the BM,J explains her decision not to take part in breast cancer screening. Screening can save lives, but sometimes leads to unnecessary treatment that can cause harm. Margaret discusses the potential risks as well as benefits from screening, which each individual has to balance to make an informed choice.

Our notorious relationship with alcohol in Scotland puts the NHS under enormous strain, with middle aged men from deprived backgrounds most at risk of liver disease. Margaret speaks to Graeme Callander of Drink Wise Age Well, a pilot programme for the over fifties, demystifies the safe drinking guidelines and offers simple tips to cut down your alcohol intake. Dr Alastair MacGilchrist explains what happens to your liver when you drink too much, and Drink Wise volunteers share how they've benefited from giving something back.

04Middle Age2017081420180422 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we arrive in middle age.

Sexually transmitted infections or STIs tend to be associated with young people, but recently there's been a rise in STIs amongst 45 to 65 year olds. Research by Jenny Dalrymple, a sexual health nurse and researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University, uncovers some of the reasons why people in middle age might take risks. For Deborah Richardson contracting genital herpes was life changing, but she soon learned how to manage the condition.

The NHS in Scotland marks the arrival of middle age with a letter to everyone on their 50th birthday inviting them to take part in bowel cancer screening. Professor Bob Steele explains how effective bowel cancer screening is and Dr Fiona Godlee, editor of the BM,J explains her decision not to take part in breast cancer screening. Screening can save lives, but sometimes leads to unnecessary treatment that can cause harm. Margaret discusses the potential risks as well as benefits from screening, which each individual has to balance to make an informed choice.

Our notorious relationship with alcohol in Scotland puts the NHS under enormous strain, with middle aged men from deprived backgrounds most at risk of liver disease. Margaret speaks to Graeme Callander of Drink Wise Age Well, a pilot programme for the over fifties, demystifies the safe drinking guidelines and offers simple tips to cut down your alcohol intake. Dr Alastair MacGilchrist explains what happens to your liver when you drink too much, and Drink Wise volunteers share how they've benefited from giving something back.

04Middle Age2017081420180101

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we arrive in middle age.

Sexually transmitted infections or STIs tend to be associated with young people, but recently there's been a rise in STIs amongst 45 to 65 year olds. Research by Jenny Dalrymple, a sexual health nurse and researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University, uncovers some of the reasons why people in middle age might take risks. For Deborah Richardson contracting genital herpes was life changing, but she soon learned how to manage the condition.

The NHS in Scotland marks the arrival of middle age with a letter to everyone on their 50th birthday inviting them to take part in bowel cancer screening. Professor Bob Steele explains how effective bowel cancer screening is and Dr Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ, explains her decision not to take part in breast cancer screening. Screening can save lives, but sometimes leads to unnecessary treatment that can cause harm. Margaret discusses the potential risks as well as benefits from screening, which each individual has to balance to make an informed choice.

Our notorious relationship with alcohol in Scotland puts the NHS under enormous strain, with middle-aged men from deprived backgrounds most at risk of liver disease. Margaret speaks to Graeme Callander of Drink Wise Age Well, a pilot programme for the over fifties, demystifies the safe drinking guidelines and offers simple tips to cut down your alcohol intake. Dr Alastair MacGilchrist explains what happens to your liver when you drink too much, and Drink Wise volunteers share how they've benefited from giving something back.

05Senior Years20170821

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we've reached the 'senior years'.

Multimorbidity, when a person has several chronic conditions, becomes more common as we age. Professor Frances Mair of Glasgow University says this can create a 'burden of treatment' where patients expend a lot of time and energy managing their conditions, navigating a healthcare system that isn't joined up and trying to make sense of contradictory advice. She explains ways the NHS can reduce the amount of time patients spend going to appointments.

As we get older, quality of life is more of an issue. Margaret catches up with Sir Muir Gray, a passionate advocate for active living in later life, who says it's never too late to improve your fitness levels and that no matter how stiff and slow you've become or how many medical conditions you have, you can benefit from doing more exercise.

After a fall, illness or operation people often become less active. Margaret visits the Rehabilitation Ward at Midlothian Community Hospital where Dr Trish Cantley is on a crusade to combat what's become known as 'PJ Paralysis' where patients lose fitness lying in bed. And we check out a Steady Steps class run by Edinburgh Leisure which aims to build confidence and prevent falls. The participants certainly prove you can have fun keeping fit at any age!

05Senior Years2017082120180429 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we've reached the 'senior years'.

Multimorbidity, when a person has several chronic conditions, becomes more common as we age. Professor Frances Mair of Glasgow University says this can create a 'burden of treatment' where patients expend a lot of time and energy managing their conditions, navigating a healthcare system that isn't joined up and trying to make sense of contradictory advice. She explains ways the NHS can reduce the amount of time patients spend going to appointments.

As we get older, quality of life is more of an issue. Margaret catches up with Sir Muir Gray, a passionate advocate for active living in later life, who says it's never too late to improve your fitness levels and that no matter how stiff and slow you've become or how many medical conditions you have, you can benefit from doing more exercise.

After a fall, illness or operation people often become less active. Margaret visits the Rehabilitation Ward at Midlothian Community Hospital where Dr Trish Cantley is on a crusade to combat what's become known as 'PJ Paralysis' where patients lose fitness lying in bed. And we check out a Steady Steps class run by Edinburgh Leisure which aims to build confidence and prevent falls. The participants certainly prove you can have fun keeping fit at any age!

05Senior Years2017082120180424 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we've reached the 'senior years'.

Multimorbidity, when a person has several chronic conditions, becomes more common as we age. Professor Frances Mair of Glasgow University says this can create a 'burden of treatment' where patients expend a lot of time and energy managing their conditions, navigating a healthcare system that isn't joined up and trying to make sense of contradictory advice. She explains ways the NHS can reduce the amount of time patients spend going to appointments.

As we get older, quality of life is more of an issue. Margaret catches up with Sir Muir Gray, a passionate advocate for active living in later life, who says it's never too late to improve your fitness levels and that no matter how stiff and slow you've become or how many medical conditions you have, you can benefit from doing more exercise.

After a fall, illness or operation people often become less active. Margaret visits the Rehabilitation Ward at Midlothian Community Hospital where Dr Trish Cantley is on a crusade to combat what's become known as 'PJ Paralysis' where patients lose fitness lying in bed. And we check out a Steady Steps class run by Edinburgh Leisure which aims to build confidence and prevent falls. The participants certainly prove you can have fun keeping fit at any age!

05Senior Years2017082120180429 (RS)

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what people need from the NHS during their lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives and what we can do to ease the pressures it's facing. This week we've reached the 'senior years'.

Multimorbidity, when a person has several chronic conditions, becomes more common as we age. Professor Frances Mair of Glasgow University says this can create a 'burden of treatment' where patients expend a lot of time and energy managing their conditions, navigating a healthcare system that isn't joined up and trying to make sense of contradictory advice. She explains ways the NHS can reduce the amount of time patients spend going to appointments.

As we get older, quality of life is more of an issue. Margaret catches up with Sir Muir Gray, a passionate advocate for active living in later life, who says it's never too late to improve your fitness levels and that no matter how stiff and slow you've become or how many medical conditions you have, you can benefit from doing more exercise.

After a fall, illness or operation people often become less active. Margaret visits the Rehabilitation Ward at Midlothian Community Hospital where Dr Trish Cantley is on a crusade to combat what's become known as 'PJ Paralysis' where patients lose fitness lying in bed. And we check out a Steady Steps class run by Edinburgh Leisure which aims to build confidence and prevent falls. The participants certainly prove you can have fun keeping fit at any age!

06 LASTA Good Death20170828

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives.

Dr Margaret McCartney explores what we need from the NHS at different stages of our lives. This week, end of life care and having a 'good death'.

It's at the end of life that we rely on the NHS the most and good communication is often the key to a good death.

Margaret visits a Death Café in Dumfries-shire where strangers come together to discuss any aspect of death over coffee and cake. Dr Naomi Richards of Glasgow University explains how the death café movement has spread around the world in reaction to the over-professionalization of talking about death.

For Margaret, caring for patients as they are dying is an enormous privilege, but that doesn't mean it's an easy part of the job. She asks fellow GP and palliative care specialist Dr Euan Paterson what he thinks patients need from doctors in their last months, weeks and days.

We have a midwife to accompany us as we bring new life into the world, so how about having a companion to support us as we leave the world? We hear from Hillary Peppiette, a solicitor who is training to become a death doula. Hilary also provides information on legal issues including writing your will and Power of Attorney.

Do Not Resuscitate documentation is also discussed with people near the end of life. Dr Dan Beckett explains the crucial difference between a cardiac arrest, which has a reversible cause, and where CPR is sometimes successful, and natural dying, when the heart stops because the body itself is dying. Talking about what kind of care and treatment we would like and what we don't want to happen can provide peace of mind for someone who is dying and their loved ones.

Throughout, Linda Tierney, who has terminal cancer, shares her experience of planning for her own death.