Happy to be living longer

Happy to be living longer

More than three quarters of adults are looking forward to living longer, a new study has revealed.

But, despite the impressive figure, an overwhelming nine out of ten claim something needs to be done in order for us to lead a better life the older we get.

Although over half of adults have a positive attitude towards ageing and living longer, many claimed that negative perceptions of later life needed to change.

The research comes as new statistics are released which show that the number of people aged 100 in the UK has increased by 73 per cent in the last decade.

The ONS figures also said life expectancy in Britain had “reached its highest level on record for both males and females”.

Growing figures

A newborn boy could live 78.7 years, and a girl up to 82.6 years, if mortality rates remained the same for 2010 and 2012 in the UK, they revealed.

The new study, undertaken by Age UK, found that one in five people will be aged 65 and over by 2020, a figure which is constantly growing.

As a result the charity has called for a commitment from policy makers to invest in services an ageing society can rely on.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Age UK is passionate that everyone should have the opportunity to be able to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.

whatever their circumstances.

“Unfortunately, at the moment we know that many older people are not able to enjoy later life and we see it as a crucial part of our job at Age UK to do everything we can to change that through both our services and campaigning work.

“But we can’t do this alone, so it’s heartening and inspiring to see that so many people think changes and improvements need to be made.

“We hope that our new, more positive and more ambitious approach will help us to encourage people of all ages to get involved and support the cause through volunteering, campaigning and fundraising with us.”

The study found that half of those aged 85 and over believed having a positive attitude to ageing is the key to living longer, which is proven to benefit older individuals’ health.

A huge two thirds of those between 55 and 64 said they viewed later life as a chance to “seize the moment” and use the time to do things they have not done yet.

But when asked what needs to be done to help us all lead a better later life, half said that treating older people with dignity in care homes and hospitals is the most important aspect to address.

Age UK said it was campaigning hard for those to get the care they needed and for improvements to be made.

The research findings link in with a new vision launched by the charity ‘Love later life’ with a new approach that start a TV advert featuring a poem written by one of Britain’s best-loved poets, Roger McGough.

Through ‘Love later life’ Age UK hopes to encourage people to think differently about getting older and demonstrate that older people have a valued role in society.

It also highlights how the Charity can help more people make the most of later life, whether for themselves, their friends, families or communities.