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Gardening tops older people's little pleasures

Published on 14 August 2013 11:01 PM

Gardening is the pastime that Britain's older people enjoy most doing and that gives them the most pleasure, according to new research from Age UK.


Released to mark the launch of Age UK's Living Your Way campaign, the research reveals that 3.8 million (38%) people over the age of 65 chose being able to potter in the garden as the activity that gives them the most pleasure in life.

Others featuring in the top three choices for people aged 65 and above include having the time to go for walks (28%) and reading the newspaper (25%).

Age UK's Living Your Way campaign aims to give older people choice and control to stay independent for as long as possible.

As people get older, the little things that give the most pleasure changes, with those aged 85 and above rating listening to the radio as their top pleasure (29%).

The over-85s also valued sharing their wisdom with family and friends (28%) as well as being able to potter in the garden (26%).

Life satisfaction climbing in later life

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK, said: ‘Having a positive attitude and being able to enjoy the little pleasures in life is really important for our well-being.

'Whether it's enjoying being outdoors in the garden or listening to all that is on offer through the radio, we want to help people to stay independent for as long as possible so they can make the most out of later life.'

The findings tie in with the recent ONS Happiness statistics for 2013 which show life satisfaction starting to climb in later life.

Age UK's research also shows that people over the age of 65 enjoy shedding their inhibitions, with over 1 in 6 taking pleasure in saying what they think and not worrying about it.

Stars share their little pleasures

Actress Prunella Scales is in agreement with the majority of green-fingered people, confessing: ‘One of my age-defying therapies is planting seeds and watching them grow.'

Meanwhile, actress Barbara Windsor says: ‘I love to reminisce with people about times gone by and the wonderful people I've known and worked with and especially the fact that so many strangers can chat to me and share those memories with me.'

Christopher Biggins commented that he enjoys, ‘Being able to say no to things, when younger you would have been coerced to saying yes and regretting it.' He also encourages everyone to 'Live life to the full and enjoy every moment.'

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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