The Best Things About Ageing
Each month, an average of 2,900 internet users Google the word “anti-ageing”, while around 2,400 people search for “how to look young”; just two in a plethora of age-related search terms.
For many, it won’t come as a surprise. But why is ageing often viewed as a negative process? Are we, as a society, overlooking the benefits of having a few more years under your belt?
We wanted to know how real people feel about the ageing process, so we surveyed 2,000 Britons aged 50 and over, to ultimately discover the best things about ageing. We also called on members of the public aged 50 and over, to find amazing case studies that inspire us with their incredible stories of motivation and agility.
Finally, we asked for the expert opinion of our independent Occupational Therapist, Julie Jennings, who gave us her advice on how to support a healthy mind and body as we age, telling us:
“We are not just a victim of time but an active participant in the journey we take.”
Keep reading to find out more…
How Do We Really Feel About Ageing?
Our survey revealed that there is some work to do when it comes to people’s perception of the ageing process.
Only 25% of over 50-year-olds feel positive about ageing
A staggering 31% of those who feel negative about ageing say that it impacts their mood on a daily basis, and 29% told us that it has an impact on them weekly.
The majority (71%) of over-50-year-olds say that their health and agility are some of the main things that make them conscious of ageing. Changing appearance took second place with 50.35% of respondents agreeing and 23% expressed the worry that people’s perceptions of them will change.
Over 71% of over-50-year-olds either agree, or somewhat agree that people are becoming obsessed with anti-ageing.
Positive Thoughts and Feelings About Ageing
We were pleased to discover that there were also plenty of positive thoughts and feelings about ageing among our respondents!
45% of over-50-year-olds agree that their self-confidence has grown as they’ve aged
Survey results revealed that having a sense of fulfilment grows the most aged 66 onwards
Over 50-year-olds believe the best thing about ageing is the life experience they’ve gained
Top 5 Regions That Feel Negative About Ageing
Yorkshire and the Humber
Top 5 Regions Impacted Daily By Feeling Negative
Yorkshire and the Humber
Top 5 Regions That Feel Positive About Ageing
Where Over-50s Lack Positive Representation
54% of over-50s feel like they are underrepresented in the media.
Fashion and sport are two areas of the media where over-50s feel they are most underrepresented, with 47% and 37% respectively agreeing that we need more positive coverage.
How Perceptions of Ageing Develop as We Get Older
Our survey also revealed that you are more likely to feel positive and embrace ageing as years pass. So, maybe the secret to feeling good about ageing is to, well, age!
21% of people between 50 – 55 years old said they felt good about ageing, compared to 32% of over 71-year olds. That’s an impressive increase!
But What Are the Benefits of Getting Older?
It’s life-affirming and heart-warming to see what our respondents appreciate about ageing, with 35% voting for life experience, and other inspirational thoughts and feelings making the top five.
The Best Things About Ageing
- Life experience
- Being comfortable in your own skin
- Having a greater sense of gratitude for the smaller things in life
- Independence and freedom
- Learning to let things go
Advice from Our Independent Occupational Therapist, Julie Jennings, Dip COT HCPC
“As an occupational therapist I have felt privileged to work with many older people and inspired by the richness of the lives they have led and continue to lead, despite a multitude of health impairments.
“In my experience, the concept of being young is still largely image and society driven. It is often interesting to understand what “getting older” means to people. For some it is the outward appearance; losing one’s youth is therefore a signal of the changes to come.
“For others, however, the process of ageing is not about how one looks, but how they feel. This group of people are usually less bothered with the concept of anti-ageing but rather a desire to remain strong, fit and active.
“I help people to focus on the positive aspects that ageing brings; the wealth of knowledge that they have acquired, the wisdom of age; the achievements they have reached and often the wonderful people they have acquired around them along the way.”
Julie’s Top Tips for Maintaining Health, Agility and a Happy Mind Set
1. Keep your mind and body active, try new hobbies and learn new skills as this keeps you current and encourages making new friends.
2. Enjoy everything, but in moderation – having balance is key.
3. Having a regular exercise plan that includes an element of cardio-vascular exercise (for heart and lung function), strengthening (to assist bone density) and flexibility (for joint range of motion and movement) is important.
4. Incorporating 30 – 60 minutes of daily, moderate exercise into your routine can reap significant rewards, such as improving mind set, boosting your immune system, reducing stress, and assisting in developing healthy sleep habits.
5. Control what you can and plan as much for the inevitable, but enjoy the todays!