Over 65s now make up a sixth of the population in the UK but a recent survey by Invicta Telecare of 2,000 adults over the age 65 suggests that many feel “held back by ageism and don’t think about their future needs”.
As few as 6% think of themselves as old, and 63% do not define themselves as such because “it is just a mindset”.
However, despite their positive attitudes, there are problems. 62% believe they might be seen as problem by society, and 21% feel others will view them as a burden on their family and friends. Almost half believe “old-fashioned” views about aging were causing problems.
Losing their independence
The research suggests that three in five “haven’t seriously thought about the type of care and support they would prefer”, and could result in them losing their independence or not being cared far in the way they would like.
Wendy Darling, managing director of Invicta Care, believes “many worry they will lose their identity and be seen as a problem”, which perhaps summarises the feeling of many.
The issue is worsened by “old fashioned taboos”, which prevent people discussing the question with family and making preparations.
Stigma about care
Invicta Telecare has called on the government to “address the stigma about care” and explore the support available to encourage people to live independently for longer.
Darling has suggested that simple things such as a “personal alarm or wireless sensor can ensure older people life to the full.”
The campaign has the support of This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford (pictured) who believes her parents felt they were a burden and therefore did not get the care they needed.
“My own wonderful parents ended up bottling up worries and concerns because they feared being seen as a burden to us, meaning we couldn’t talk openly about their needs,” she added.