A recent study conducted by bathing specialists Mira Showers has revealed that over 65s are feeling younger than ever and require products that are as fashionable as they are functional.

Having quizzed 1000 adults over the age of 65 in the UK to gain a better understanding of what type of independent living bathing solutions they are interested in, the results found that a large proportion respondent both feel younger and actively take measures to feel younger.

According to the research, an overwhelming 86 percent of participants felt at least a decade younger than their age, with over half (54 percent) believing their physical shape was on par with someone 10 years their junior.

In addition to feeling younger, the study highlighted the active measures employed by the demographic to remain physically and mentally younger, with 62 percent taking regular exercise and over 70 percent undertaking some form of mental puzzle or reading.

With a stigma surrounding independent living products and mobility aids amongst consumers, the research underlines the challenge facing brands of engaging an audience that feels younger with products associated with becoming older.

A recent report, ‘Homes that help: A personal and professional perspective on home adaptations,’ by the Centre for Ageing Better pointed out the issue of perception, stating that older people with health and mobility issues are delaying making vital changes to their homes, such as installing handrails and ramps, due to the off-putting and stigmatising appearance of products.

The findings reflected the Mira Shower’s findings, with 57 percent of those polled claiming to be ‘house-proud’ and almost three quarters (73 percent) agreeing that brands do not do enough to offer stylish, functional products for those over 65 years old.

Roland Boal, Lead Industrial Designer at Mira, said: “Growing older shouldn’t mean that we have to make compromises when it comes to style, especially in the home. Clearly those that took part in our research agree; 70% prioritise style over function and with 87% stating that they would most like to grow old living at home independently, it’s vital that we support them.

“Brands across the globe have spent vast amounts of money on research and development to develop products which improve living for those less-abled which is fantastic, but now that the fundamentals of those designs are in place, it’s time we started putting more care and attention into the style of these products. Our research has clearly shown that the UK’s spritely over 65s still have an eye for design and a real penchant for keeping their home their haven.”

With the Office for National Statistics predicting that the number of over 67-year olds in the UK will grow by over 30 percent between 2016 and 2041, the company says brands should be doing more to cater to the needs of the demographic.

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