We’re all living longer than ever before but what do we really worry about as we get old? There’s the obvious concern of a deterioration in our health, and death itself, but now it seems those aged over 65 are becoming worried about wider issues such as world security and poor government leadership.
Our world is changing and it seems older people are more fearful of what the political future may hold for their grandchildren. One interviewee was even bold enough to say that at the top of their “worry list” is future ‘hooliganism’.
A survey consisting of 720 pensioners, aged from 65 and over and including both men and women, was commissioned by Central College Online to establish what really troubles the elderly as they approach their twilight years.
Loss of physical ability and independence came out top with 19.7% of people polled saying it was their greatest fear. Slightly more females were troubled about their health compared to men.
General health was also a predominant worry with 17.7% of those surveyed expressing concerns. Specific illnesses mentioned included dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer and a terminal illness.
8.3% of those polled feared dropping dead and death itself with men three times more likely to fear death than women.
Financial impact of getting old ranked at number 5 with 7.6% of those surveyed harbouring worries about financing their retirement.
Ian Yates, the Chief Executive for COTA (Council on The Ageing) which is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at improving the lives of older adults, says he’s not surprised.
“Retired people have a degree of financial vulnerability. Compulsory superannuation schemes came too late for many older people. They are acutely aware that the state pension is modest and yes, it is a cause for concern for many.”
More men than women were concerned about future world politics, which no doubt reflects the recent Brexit vote and a change in the American leadership.
“The over 65’s has what I would call a ‘collective legacy’ about what they’re leaving behind. Pensioners are more vocal than most on environmental issues such as the climate and what’s happening politically. They want to know their grandchildren will be living in a harmonious, ethical world where their children and grandchildren will have plenty of stability,” Mr Yates added.
Physical appearance also appeared in the top 10 most feared aspects of getting old with concerns over baldness and losing their hair as one of the worst things about aging. One male respondent answered ‘getting ugly’ was his primary worry.
Central College Online is a part of the Group Colleges of Australia organisation which has been established for over thirty years and offers online courses in aged care and more than forty other subjects to thousands of students.