Being social and active as you age will help you stay healthy. That taking part in social activities has the most direct influence on improving a person’s well-being in later life. Activities such as going out for a movie, to a museum or a historical site, taking part in arts events, being a member of a social or sports club, or engaging in a community or voluntary group are all beneficial.
“Life examines different aspects of people’s lives in five key areas – social, personal, health, financial and environmental ”
Overall, it shows there is no ‘magic bullet’, but rather a whole host of factors under each of the key areas play an important part in contributing to a person’s sense of well-being.
Other factors found to have an influence include having an open personality and being willing to try out new things, being physically active, having a good memory and thinking skills and having a good social network and lots of warm relationships.
The Index found that ‘creative activities’ had the most direct influence, with older people benefiting from activities such as dancing, playing a musical instrument, visiting museums, photography, singing, painting and writing.
We live in an extraordinary time with increasing numbers of us, living longer than ever imagined before. On the one hand, many can celebrate living financially secure, active, engaged and healthy for longer, but we also know living longer exposes many other older people to huge vulnerabilities.
It found that those who scored best in the Index (top 20%) had good thinking skills, didn’t live alone, were socially engaged, had good friendships, were physically active with good health and didn’t have serious money worries.
Those who scored worse (bottom 20%) were the opposite, with fewer qualifications, lived alone, had a poor social network, weren’t physically active, had long-standing illnesses and many (one in four) were on an income-related benefit. Tragically, one in eight older people in this group reported they had no friends at all.
The average age for the group of people in the top 20% and the bottom 20% was very similar, at 70 and 71 years respectively.
Our Index reveals a huge gap between the most and the least favoured older people in our society and shows that we have to do more to help those with the lowest well-being. They are often alone, on a low income, in poor health, and with very few additional resources to fall back on.
“Good public services can make a huge difference to older people in this position so it is incredibly important that they are sustained.”
Thank You 🙂