Most people born in the baby-boom years following the war expect to be fighting fit and living independently as they enter their twilight years, new research has revealed.
Help the Aged found that 60 per cent of people aged between 55 and 64 expect to be fit and healthy as they become older and 87 per cent expect to be living independently.
However, the charity noted that the average 65-year-old man would be ill for the last four years of his life and disabled for the last eight.
And it stressed the need for older people to accept support "if these hopes are to become reality".
"Small interventions in an older person's life help to prevent the sort of deterioration that leads to poor health and dependency," said the director of community services at Help the Aged, Daniel Pearson.
"Help the Aged invests in preventative services that enable older people to stay in control of their lives for as long possible."
The charity provides advice and support for older people through a range of services.