Poll shows health and housing among top concerns for later life as nearly 70 organisations commit to promoting healthy ageing
A new YouGov poll, commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better and Independent Age, of more than 2,000 people aged 40-60 in the UK has revealed that many people are concerned about their health, financial security and housing in later life.
The results of this survey coincide with the announcement that almost 70 high profile organisations in the UK’s health, housing, employment, research and voluntary sectors have today launched a landmark shared vision on healthy ageing.
Brought together by the Centre for Ageing Better and Public Health England (PHE), the organisations will work together to promote healthy ageing.
Signatories commit to five key principles: prioritising prevention and public health; creating opportunities for people to contribute to society as they age; fostering accessible and inclusive homes and neighbourhoods so everyone can live where they want; narrowing inequalities in healthy ageing; and challenging ageist language, culture and practices.
To gather insights about people’s key concerns as they age, the poll explored people’s hopes, fears and expectations about health in later life.
Many of those surveyed worry their physical health will affect their ability to do things like be as financially secure as they’d like (62 percent), be as physically active as they want (55 percent), or live in the kind of home they want (43 percent) at 65 or older. Two in three think ageism or being treated differently based on age negatively affects the physical health of over-65s.
When asked what will be most important to them when they are over 65, four in five rated having good mental health as “very important”. Three-quarters of respondents also listed being financially secure, having good physical health (72 percent) and being able to see family and friends face to face (60 percent) as very important. When they are over 65, 71 percent plan to be physically active at recommended levels and 74 percent plan to eat a healthy balanced diet.
Respondents say improving homes (69 percent) and neighbourhoods (68 percent) to meet the needs of older people, for example by providing home adaptations at reduced cost or providing more public transport options which are accessible for disabled people, should be prioritised in the UK for ensuring that people over the age of 65 have a good quality of life.
Other priorities include preventing people from being treated differently due to their age (63 percent) and supporting people to stay in work for as long as they want (58 percent).
By endorsing this shared vision, signatories add their voice to calls to tackle these issues and provide everyone with the opportunities and support they need to have a good later life.
Ageing Better and PHE will continue to work together to develop and promote good practice, as well as inspiring others so everyone can look forward to being healthy and happy in later life.
Dr Anna Dixon, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, commented: “Many of us are living longer, in part due to advances in medicine and public health. While many people can look forward to being healthy when they reach later life, most of us will find ourselves managing long-term health conditions or disabilities at some point, in a society that too often treats us as past our sell by date.
“Our health should not dictate how we live our lives or prevent us from doing the things we want to do. That’s why it’s so important to help people to stay healthy for as long as possible, build homes and communities that enable us to stay active and connected, and stamp out the ageist attitudes that have an impact on our health.”
The Centre for Ageing Better is a charity that works to create a society where everyone enjoys a good later life.
Public Health England (PHE) exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care.
A charity founded over 150 years ago, Independent Age offers regular friendly contact, a strong campaigning voice and free, impartial advice on the issues that matter to older people: care and support, money and benefits, health and mobility.