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New generation of future-proofers

Published on 17 July 2015 12:01 AM

Research unveils new generation of future-proofers with one in five people in their sixties adapting homes to grow old with them

New research has unearthed a generation of forward-thinking 60 year olds, with a fifth of people aged 60-69 making adaptations to their homes to make them suitable for their needs as they age[i]. The study, from Age UK Trading, revealed that over a quarter of these had made the changes because they believe thinking about the future is important in order to ensure they can stay in their homes as long as possible.[ii]

Dubbed ‘future-proofers' because of their desire to plan ahead, a fifth of those in their sixties who had carried out home improvements said they wanted to prepare for their future[iii], with one in ten citing their independence and wanting to manage on their own as the reason behind the adaptations[iv].

However, of this age group one in twenty confessed to not wanting to think about getting older[v]. Almost one in five said they would only think about adaptations to their home if they were advised to by their GP[vi], with a quarter saying they would only consider making changes to their home if they had an accident which affected their physical ability[vii].

In contrast, a third (33%) of people aged 70 and over who had carried out adaptations, cited the fact that their home was no longer suitable for their needs as the reason behind the changes[viii]. Of this age group, one in ten had been advised to make changes by their GP, with the same number saying the adaptations had been done by their family in order to help them manage better[ix]. Nearly a third of over-70s had made the changes to make caring for a relative easier[x].

Hugh Forde, Managing Director of Age UK Trading, comments; "As these ‘future-proofers' demonstrate, thinking about your living situation and how your needs might change as you age is important. However, whilst there is an emerging group of forward-thinking 60 year olds, the reality is that for many older people these needs are only realised after an accident or a relative becoming ill. Often small adaptations can make a significant difference, not only helping people retain their independence and stay in their homes longer, but also reducing falls and accidents, and the subsequent cost of care and resources."

Over a third of the 60 year olds who had made changes (37%) said they felt more confident since carrying out the work[xi], with one in four saying that they now worry less about the possibility of risks[xii]. Most popular adaptations amongst the ‘future-proofers' included the installation of a level access shower or wet room (31%) and one in ten had made doorways more accessible with ramps.

Age UK Trading, part of Age UK's social enterprise, specialises in products for the evolving needs of older people. Including mobility aids, independent living solutions, and health care and technology products, the range has been designed to help people stay independent for longer. Whether it's getting around more easily, coping with health conditions or being able to sit down comfortably, Age UK Trading offers a one-shop-stop for those looking to make the most of later life. For more information visit www.ageuk.org.uk/shop.

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For more information regarding Age UK Trading, please call Hannah Barker-Green in the Age UK Media Team on 020 3033 1427 or email hannah.barker-green@ageuk.org.uk

Ref: KRSKMRDHHFCA

Notes to editors

All results taken from the Age UK and TNS Future-proofing survey (December 2014) unless otherwise stated. The Age UK and TNS Future-proofing survey interviewed 1,355 people in the UK aged over 60 between 06/12/14-29/12/14.

[i] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds who have carried out adaptations to their home

[ii] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[iii] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[iv] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[v] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[vi] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[vii] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[viii] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 70-80+ year olds

[ix] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 70-80+ year olds

[x] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 70-80+ year olds

[xi] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

[xii] Age UK and TNS Future-proofing Survey December 2014. Percentage calculated using base figures of 60-69 year olds

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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