A third of respondents felt that their mental health had deteriorated over the last few years. Younger respondents were more likely than those aged 70+ to state that their mental health had got worse – 44% of respondents in their 50s and 42% in their 60s said that this was the case.
This research highlights the impact that lockdowns have had on our longer term health and wellbeing – almost two thirds of over-50s say they have been less active over the past year and around half feeling worried about a loss of strength and mobility.
It is desperately sad to read that a third of respondents felt that older people were made to feel a burden to society and that life is getting worse for older people in Scotland. We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow older so it’s clear we have some way to go, with only 9% of respondents reporting that they felt very positive about the future. One in five believed that older people were valued for their contribution to society, but more than half disagreed.
Energy bills and council tax were among the biggest financial concerns for respondents, with 26% feeling financially squeezed. The pandemic has had an impact on older people’s finances, with 67% of respondents reporting that their energy bills had increased as a result of staying at home more since March 2020 - 38% of these stating they had struggled to pay increased bills and 4% now in arrears.
Alarmingly 87% of respondents said that they or someone they know has been the target of a scam, most likely by telephone. Sadly 32% of people didn’t see the point of reporting the scam, with only 19% informing the police.