The Future of ageing

Global study finds high levels of concern about ageing and paints a negative picture for later life.

The author(s)
  • Suzanne Hall Public Affairs, UK
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Ipsos’ exclusive study, conducted in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better, a charity, funded by an endowment from The National Lottery Community Fund, shows the negativity felt by the online public across 30 countries about ageing, and how they are preparing for later life. You will find all the data in the downloadable documents coming along this article.

The study is divided in key topics listed below:

• Optimism about later life

• When is old age, and what does it mean?

• Representation in the media

• Political power

• The potential for technology

• Preparing for later life

• What about Great Britain?

Ipsos spokesperson, said:The growth of the ageing population is one of our greatest achievements. However, it also presents society, business and brands with significant challenges as well. Our research shows that, globally, there is a great deal of negativity towards later life, with financial and health concerns prevalent. Feeding into this negativity is a sense that the media does not do enough to portray later life as a time of potential. It is therefore, perhaps, little surprise that when describing those in old age people commonly reach for terms like ‘frail’, ‘lonely’ and ‘unfairly treated’ along with ‘wise’. There are reasons for optimism, however. More people globally have faith in the power of technology to improve the lives of the elderly. People also tend to think that there are things that they can do to ensure they are prepared for old age – though there is a gap between what we know we should be doing, and what we are doing in practice. Later life should be our golden years – but there is clearly much work to be done for this time in our life to be seen as such."


Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, said: "There are tremendous opportunities that come from longer lives, yet just one in three people worldwide say they are looking forward to their old age. This is perhaps not surprising given the prevailing narrative across the globe is one of decline, frailty, ill-health and loneliness. These negative experiences are not inevitable. We must improve our workplaces, our housing, our health and our communities to enable more of us to age well. Changing our own and society’s attitudes to later life is an essential first step. "

1 Interviews carried out online with adults aged under 65. In countries with a low level of internet penetration, the sample will reflect a more urban, educated, and higher income profile than the general population

The author(s)
  • Suzanne Hall Public Affairs, UK