Source : Laura Grigg \ Age UK
Published on 17 March 2014 12:30 AM
According to new research from Age UK, over three quarters (77%) of adults are looking forward to living longer. But 9 out of 10 (91%) believe that changes need to be made in society to help us all enjoy a better later life.
The research, commissioned to understand more about people’s attitudes towards ageing and living longer, reveals over 4 out of 5 (83%) adults believe negative perceptions of later life need to change.
Half (50%) of those aged 85 years and above believe that having a positive attitude to ageing is the key to living longer.
And almost two thirds (63%) of those aged between 55 and 64 view living longer as a chance to ‘seize the moment’ and make the most of their later years.
1 in 5 people in Great Britain will be aged 65 and over by 2020 and this growing number of older people is a cause for celebration.
However, the growth of an older population needs commitment from policy makers in terms of investment in the sorts of services an ageing society will rely on.
When asked what needs to be done to help us all lead a better later life, half (50%) of those surveyed said that treating older people with dignity in care homes and hospitals is one of the most important aspects.
Unfortunately too many older people do not get the care they need and Age UK is campaigning hard for improvements to be made.
Age UK’s ‘Love later life’ approach is aimed at encouraging 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.
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.
‘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.’
Love later life has also attracted a number of celebrity figures, with Alastair Stewart, Miriam Margolyes, Zoe Wanamaker, Pam St Clement, Lesley Joseph, Sir Roger Moore, June Whitfield, Barbara Windsor, Diana Moran, Christopher Biggins, Lionel Blair, Alison Steadman and Liz McClarnon all lending their support.
To find out more about Age UK and to get involved, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/lovelaterlife
And you can join the Love later life conversation by sharing your stories and experiences of loving later life using the hashtag #lovelaterlife on Facebook and Twitter.
Watch Age UK’s new Love later life TV advert.
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We have a number of experts available for comment, including:
Caroline Abrahams is Age UK’s Charity Director, and has worked predominantly on children and family issues throughout her career.
She was Director of Policy and Strategy at the children’s charity Action for Children and Chair of the End Child Poverty campaign before joining the Local Government Association.
She then moved on to become Senior Policy Adviser in the Department for Children, Schools and Families and more recently she has been an adviser to the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.
Her policy interests include poverty, public service reform and safeguarding.
James is head of our research department in Age UK.
His responsibilities include:
He has a Visiting Professorship in Ageing at Loughborough University.
Jane Vass is Head of Public Policy at Age UK. She joined Age Concern England as Financial Services Policy Adviser in 2006.
She was previously an independent consumer consultant and writer specialising in financial services from the consumer viewpoint.
In this capacity she undertook research such as reports for the National Consumer Council on equity release and on savings and investments for low-income consumers.
She was a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel from 1999 to 2003, and from 1983 to 1993 she worked for Consumers’ Association.
This factsheet, which is regularly updated, is the most up-to-date source of publicly-available, general information on people in later life in the UK.
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