Brits start to worry about ‘getting old’ at the age of 50, a study has revealed. Researchers found the days after the milestone birthday to be the point when the average adult starts to dread ageing amid worries about health issues and fading looks.
The report also revealed that one in twenty even admitted their concerns about getting old started before they reached the age of 40.
Many Brits are starting to worry earlier than ever before, with almost seven in ten 50-somethings admitting their fears started sometime in their 40s, compared to just 14% of those who are already pensioners.
It also emerged that health issues top the list of ageing concerns, followed closely by a failing of the mind and loss of independence.
But despite fears of growing old striking us in while still young, seven in ten admit they have no plans in place to deal with their later years.
Lyn Duncan, CEO for social care marketplace provider cloudBuy which commissioned the research, said:
“We all reach a point where we start to look forward and think about getting older, but it seems that could be happening much earlier than we think.
“Nowadays, 50 isn’t by any means old. For many, it’s a time when their life is just getting going, especially if their children are growing up and starting to leave home or they are financially better off than when they were younger.
“But this could lead to concerns about getting older, especially loneliness as children start to lead their own lives or having to finance their retirement and any health or social care that may be needed in the future.
“There’s nothing we can do to stop the ageing process or avoid getting older, but by being prepared and getting the right support, hopefully we can spend less time worrying.
“The over 50s are tending to live for the here and now and we must recognise there is a ticking time bomb in place particularly if they fail to address their concerns with friends and family and don’t put any plans in place.
“It is in everyone’s interest when looking at care to ensure we keep our elderly independent for as long as possible.
“We need to get rid of the ‘illness’ type society and focus on pushing through a heath society that with the introduction of personal health budgets empowers people as they get older to make daily decisions and choices about their own care.”
The study, of 1,000 Brits aged 50 and over, found that eight in ten worry about getting older with health issues, serious illnesses, failing minds and forgetfulness among the top concerns.
More than half of over 50s also worry about loss of independence, voting it into fifth place in the poll, while failing or even a complete loss of sight coming sixth.
Being a burden to others, a failing body but a fit mind, lack of money and having to leave their home to move into a care home complete the top ten.
Struggling to continue with your favourite hobbies and how your children will cope if you become ill or pass away also feature on the list
But the results show some big difference between the sexes, with women much more concerned about losing their independence, with 58% naming this as a concern compared to just 43% of men.
Women are also more likely to fear loneliness – 39% compared to 27% of men, as well as their mind failing them (66% compared to 51% of men.)
The study found that just over four in ten over 50s worry about aging so much, it keeps them awake for an average of two nights awake.
It also emerged that a staggering 95% of over 50s would prefer not to enter a care or nursing home.
And half would even be prepared to cut down on holidays to fund their full time home care in future years.
Lyn Duncan, CEO at cloudBuy added:
“With the introduction of personal health budgets this month, technology enables us to tackle the issue of social care in a different way.
“We have developed a national care marketplace which is a platform that provides the means for people to browse, choose, purchase and feedback on care services whether that be extra grip rails, arranging meals, visits from a nurse or help with shopping.”
TOP 20 AGING WORRIES
- Health issues
- Serious illness
- My mind failing me
- Becoming forgetful
- Losing my independence
- Losing my sight
- Being a burden to others
- My body failing me, but my mind being completely fit
- Having to go into a nursing/care home
- My partner getting seriously ill
- My partner dying before me
- Being lonely
- Having to move out of my home
- Not being able to drive
- Being bed-ridden
- Losing my hearing
- My looks and appearance
- Not being able to continue with my hobbies