Ageing gracefully is an expression we use to describe the way we would like to live our twilight years. Encouragingly, a new Once in a Lifetime Study by Perpetual reveals this stage of life will be less like an episode of the Twilight Zone as we seem to expect.
A bit about the survey
We asked 2,400 Australians from 16 to 100 how they felt about life and the future and what advice they could give to others based on their experience to date. The study covered many aspects of Australians’ lives and over the next year we’ll be sharing insights from the study that provide a view to the future and a different view of the past.
An interesting finding on mental health
In this first article we examine how Australians describe their overall health, both physical and mental. One of the most interesting findings is that despite a high level of concern about mental health in our twilight years, only a small percentage of people over the age of 70 actually report mental health making life difficult for them.
Diving into the detail
When Australians were asked to describe their mental health, the most common answer was “I’m in good shape” with 29% describing themselves this way. What might surprise you is that 41% of Australians 70 years and over described themselves as “In good shape”, a larger proportion than for every other age group ‘decade’. No wonder we’re living longer.
We followed up by asking Australians about the health issues they worry most about when they think of the future. The chart below shows what they told us.
It was particularly interesting to see how these concerns change over time. We found that Australians in their later years are divided over what concerns them most. For Australians 70 years and over, it is an even split between physical health (35%) and mental health (35%). Only a few were concerned about passing (3%) or getting old (7%) and many said they don’t worry about health issues at all (19%).
What is more interesting is what we found when we asked Australians about the factors that make life difficult for them right now. Only 5% of Australians 70 years and over said their mental health made life difficult for them, yet 37% said their physical health did indeed make life difficult.
Of course it’s important to be concerned about both, but it’s intriguing that relatively few are troubled at all by mental health which when we looked closely is more of an issue for younger Australians.
An age of ageing gracefully
The results of Perpetual’s Once in a Lifetime Study reveal that ageing gracefully is a reality for many Australians. And perhaps there are lessons our graceful Australians could pass on to let us into some of their secrets. We’ll be looking for more of these insights from the study in the coming year.
Age gracefully with personalised assistance from Perpetual
It is quite natural that, as we get older, our ability and interest to dedicate the necessary time to day-to-day matters starts to fade. Perpetual Lifestyle Assist can help you or a loved one preserve independence, dignity and lifestyle as you go through life.
Lifestyle Assist provides people with their own dedicated consultant who will be a consistent point of contact. It’s like having a personal concierge who can take care of everyday affairs like organising extra assistance around the home and paying bills on time as well as more complex and time consuming tasks like home maintenance and repairs, end of year tax return and even aged care planning. We work with our clients to sort out all kinds of matters before they become a burden, freeing them up to get on with living the lifestyle they want.