Park life lasting for ages
WOMEN in north and west Swindon have one of the longest life expectancies in the country according to the latest statistics from Public Health England.
Female residents in Grange Park can expect to live to the ripe old age of 95, and the area has the fourth highest life expectancy in the country.
Pat Hiscocks, of Marney Road, has been a resident of Grange Park for 15 years and has lived in Swindon her whole life.
The mother of seven, grandmother of 14 and great-grandmother to 12 was delighted to hear that life expectancy was so high in the area.
The 90-year-old said: “I think that’s marvellous. I can’t stand very well or walk very well any more but other than that I’m as fit as a fiddle.
“A lot of people don’t really like getting older but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I had quite a happy childhood and a good marriage. All my children are always around and trying to support me and I think family is the best thing about getting older.”
It is not only women in Grange Park who can expect to live longer, with men also having a life expectancy in the top 20.
Men in the area can expect to live to 87 years old, and men in Oakhurst, Taw Hill, Redhouse, Haydon End, St Andrew’s Ridge, Ash Brake and Abbey Meads also expected to live into their late eighties.
Aerial view of Grange Park
Councillor Mick Bray (Con, Lydiard and Freshbrook), who has two grandchildren who could expect to reach these ages, said: “I think it’s fantastic because it’s a lovely place. I think everybody likes it because it is one of the areas where everybody has a garden.
“I think it’s nice that my grandchildren will live so long. As long as you’re happy and you don’t lose your marbles then I think it would be a great life.”
On average, life expectancy at birth increased across England and Wales by 1.3 years for men and one year for women between 2006 and 2012.
While Public Health England welcomed the news that people are living longer, the organisation also shared concerns about the huge regional differences between particular areas, and have provided local authorities with information to tackle the age gap.
Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England (PHE) said: “Life expectancy continues to increase in England – from 2000 to 2012 it rose by 3.2 years for males and 2.4 years for females.
“On Friday, PHE provided local authorities with information on the causes of death which are contributing most to the life expectancy gap in their areas. Targeting these causes of death should have a significant impact on reducing inequalities.
“The evidence is clear – a person’s likelihood of dying early varies widely between areas due to differences in risk factors such as being overweight, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, but these factors are also closely linked to economic deprivation.
“If we are to change the current pattern of early mortality many different public agencies need to work together to create healthy communities and healthy places to live across the whole country.”