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95% of people in later life feel ageing should be a time of celebration - despite 78% feeling that older people are ignored

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Joined: 09/03/2009

95% of people in later life feel ageing should be a time of celebration - despite 78% feeling that older people are ignored by society

New research by Age UK‚ the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged‚ has revealed that 95% of people over 60 think getting older should be a time of enjoyment and celebration.

This is despite 78% of this age group feeling that older people are ignored by society. The polling for Age UK by YouGov also revealed that 82% of over-60s felt that older people’s voices were not heard as much as younger people’s. It also highlighted how work‚ not necessarily just age‚ may play a defining role in this with 64% saying they felt working people had a greater voice than those who were retired.

The same poll also found that when asked about what could be done locally to improve their lives‚ being treated with dignity and respect came top for the over-60s (46%). This was closely followed by 34% saying opportunities to learn new hobbies‚ and 32% citing that more frequent and accessible public transport would improve their lives.

The research is released on the same day that Age UK launches a new television advertising campaign. The advertisement – starring actor Brian Cox – will reach a wide audience and showcase the range of ways that Age UK can help‚ the products and services it offers and how people can get in touch.

As part of its mission to improve later life for all‚ Age UK is calling for older people from across the country to come forward to tell their inspiring stories of achievements. Age UK will use these to highlight how later life can be a time of opportunity and to challenge some of the stereotypes about older age.

Diana Moran‚ aged 70‚ model and famously known as The Green Goddessis fronting the campaign. She said:

“I am an extremely active 70 year old and make a very valuable contribution to society. I am happy to help highlight the search to find stories of other people doing remarkable things and celebrating the joy of later life.”

Michelle Mitchell‚ Charity Director for Age UK said:

“As a group within society‚ people in later life often feel ignored and this research clearly demonstrates how this is a reality experienced by the majority. Ageing can present many challenges‚ particularly for those experiencing disadvantage. Age UK campaigns and provides services and solutions to help improve later life.

“However‚ we believe an ageing society presents tremendous opportunities that should rightly be celebrated‚ and it is heartening to see that this is a belief held by such a high percentage of those polled. The search to find these inspirational stories is just one way to celebrate later life and is a first step in ensuring that the voices of people in later life are heard loud and clear.”<