Over Half of UK Adults Aged 40–60 Are Afraid of Getting Older

A YouGov study[1] commissioned by elderly care charity Pilgrims’ Friend Society this year has revealed that 54 per cent of UK adults aged between 40 and 60 are afraid of later life. Almost half of those surveyed are also worried about burdening their families as they grow older, with 40 per cent worrying about becoming lonely. 

Pilgrims’ Friend Society provides residential care homes and independent living housing schemes where older people can live fulfilled lives in their later years. The survey findings support the charity’s ‘Getting Real about Getting Older’ (GRGO) campaign, which launches this week.

The campaign includes a series of four short films with older people offering their advice on everything from facing physical limitations to moving home in later life. From their experience, it is never too early to think about all aspects of later life.

Eric Freeman, 85, who lives in a Pilgrims’ Friend Society home in West Yorkshire and features in the campaign, explained how important it is to talk about getting older. Eric said,

Getting older happens to us all. When you notice that your body can’t do what it used to, or that you’re becoming more physically and mentally dependent on others, it can feel unsettling and even frightening, but it makes a big difference if you talk about these changes and prepare for them. People should be conscious of what’s happening to them and then make the right choices early.

Preparation is key, according to the survey; 92 per cent of 40–60-year-olds think that financial preparation is important, 85 per cent think that physical preparation is important, and 78 per cent think that emotional, mental and spiritual preparation is important.

Experts say that mid-life is the time to start preparing for later life so alongside the films, the charity has put together a resource, the Mid-life MOT, to help people in mid-life take control of their future. The MOT encourages readers to ask some essential questions , such as  ‘who am I and what changes would I like to make?’ to get them thinking about what they want later life to be like.

Alexandra Davis, Director of Marketing & Communications for Pilgrims’ Friend Society, said,

As someone approaching mid-life myself, I’m realising that there are big things to think through. The insights provided in our films have helped me appreciate that later life is something I can take practical steps to prepare for and embrace with positivity and hopefulness.

Both the resource and the films available on the Getting Real About Getting Older webpage: www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/getreal

Written by: Priscilla Obilana

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