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What’s Important to Older People Nowadays?

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What do people want out of retirement?

Our World Health Day infographic looks at what is important to people as they age. To better understand the needs of an ageing population, Barchester looked at a number of surveys and found that staying active both mentally and physically is at the top of the list.

Ultimately, your age means very little and most people agree, with 61 per cent of over-60s saying it is not important and 62 per cent claiming to feel younger than they are.

Travel, holidays, activities and volunteering were all major priorities for people approaching retirement age. This challenges many traditional views that you should slow down as you get older and highlights what people really want to do during their golden years.

Older people matter

One-third of the UK population is now over 50, accounting for 22 million people, while there are more than 1.4 million over-85s, and both of these figures are growing. Older individuals can still play an important role in society and lead a fulfilling and healthy life.

Even when circumstances mean that people need additional support, getting older should never be a reason to slow down. Staying active isn't just important for physical health, but can also have a massive impact on wellbeing and confidence.

Indoor and outdoor activities can provide exercise, entertainment and socialisation, which is important at any stage of life. However, as people get older, they are more at risk of becoming isolated, so getting out to do these activities becomes even more necessary.

What activities can older people do?

More than two-thirds of people with aspirations for later in life want to get involved in physical activities, such as walking, dancing or cycling in their older years. There are very few activities that can't be adapted so that anyone can take part, even if they have limitations. The British Heart Foundation stresses the need to take exercise regularly and provides a series of tips for those looking to be more active.

Why not follow their suggestions and try to be active every day by setting realistic goals, looking for ways to keep moving, ensuring activities are fun, involving friends and family, setting reminders and rewarding yourself for achieving your aims? But, ultimately, age is nothing more than a number.

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