The things which matter most to the older generation

At Barchester, we are committed to helping people make the most out of their lives, making them feel as happy and fulfilled as possible. For this reason, it’s important for us to know what matters to our residents and the older demographic as a whole. We understand that their needs, wishes and desires may be changing as they grow older and it’s crucial in enabling independence that these factors are met. Without a doubt, this is also becoming increasingly more important with the UK’s ageing population. It is reported that by 2040, nearly one in seven Britons will be over the age of 75. We offer insight into the things that really matter to the older generation and how you can make the most out of your retirement years.

Feeling young

61% of older people don’t see age as important and 49% of over 60s have the desire to learn a new skill, such as basic computing. These fantastic figures highlight that life can really start when you retire! Hand in hand with feeling young is keeping yourself mentally stimulated with a range of meaningful activities. Taking on the weekly crossword is a good start, but it’s not enough on its own. Getting out there and actually learning the new skills you have in mind can make a huge difference in keeping your brain active and consequently keeping you feeling young!

Having company

As we grow older or reach retirement the desire to be socially active may be even greater, without the daily interactions that our career provides. Plus, we actually have the time to visit old friends and relatives on a regular basis. Having said that, around 3.9 million older people actually consider their television to be their main form of company and 200,000 admit to not having had a conversation with relatives or friends for an entire month. It is evident that avoiding loneliness is extremely important to older generations. And not only for promoting happiness, as research suggests that loneliness is seriously detrimental to our health.

Feeling safe

People can begin to feel unsafe for a range of reasons as they grow older. For example, after a partner passes, you may not feel safe living alone in your home or become very wary of having your handbag or purse stolen. However, we should all have the right to feel safe all the time! While 67% of people feel happy growing old in their neighbour because it is a safe place to live, there are steps that you can take if you feel less comfortable in your local community. Some good advice on staying safe includes: never opening the door to someone who is cold-calling if you are not confident they are who they say they are and calling the Police using the ‘101’ number when it is not as urgent as a ‘999’ call.

Being healthy

We all worry about health issues, as we get older. With more and more advice available regarding how we can all live healthier lifestyles, there are many things we can do to ensure that we are looking after ourselves. For example, 65% of people over the age of 75 try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, which is fantastic. But, there are many more factors to take into consideration. For instance, as we age, our skin’s ability to synthesise vitamin D decreases, meaning it is a good idea to take a supplement.

Remaining active

It has been highlighted that keeping socially and physically active by enjoying life through travel, exercise and other leisure pursuits is extremely important to older people. They finally have the time to indulge in the hobbies which they have squeezed in among their busy pre-retirement lives. 82% of those 60+ say they would be interested in travelling or going on holiday, showing that enjoying a sense for adventure never leaves us!

Enjoying a sense of well-being

Many consider the phrase ‘laughter is the best medicine’ to be a cliché. Yet, research suggests that happiness and health really are connected. And therefore, it’s no surprise that as we age we are looking to find activities and hobbies which keep us happy. 76% of people over the age of 60 want to learn something new simply for ‘the pleasure’ of doing so! Looking after our mental well-being definitely continues to be an important part of our lives as we grow older.