Recent Research Shows Few Over 65s Feel Old, Yet Half Object to Ageism

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4th September 2013 12:10 - Health

More than 2,000 people aged 65-93 were surveyed by YouGov for a firm providing support services for older people. Among respondents, almost half (47%), complained of ageism. Furthermore only 6% of over -65s describe themselves as ‘old’ and only one in three has given serious thought to future care they may require.

Respondents were typically concerned about being seen as a burden, both to society (62%) and their family (21%). However, three fifths (63%) agreed that being old was just a mind-set and refused to define themselves as old, while more than a third (39%) said they were happier than at any time.

Of respondents, a third (34%) complained the word ‘old’ was derogatory, a fifth (27%) disliked the word ‘elderly’ and three tenths (30%) objected to being described as an ‘OAP’.

Official figures indicate that the number of over-65s in the UK is likely to nearly double to around 19 million – or a quarter of the population – by 2050, up from 10 million in 2010.

Wendy Darling of Invicta Telecare, said:

"It's important to tackle the old-fashioned taboos that many are coming up against… Many worry they will lose their identity and be seen as a problem as they grow older so it's important not to underestimate the support out there which will give full control of your freedom and independence."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said:

“Older people play an incredibly important role in society, and are the lynchpins of many families and communities. They should be able to look forward to a happy and healthy old age, without having to face discrimination or catastrophic care cost. We are reforming the care system so that people will finally be able to plan for the care they might need in their later years…”

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