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There’s no need to feel afraid about growing older

At Össur, we make it our mission to keep people active for longer, regardless of their age, as we understand the importance of being able to continue doing the things we love most after an injury. However, despite life expectancy in the UK now at its highest, there is still stigma attached to growing older - and we intend to change that.

We commissioned a survey to find out your opinions on growing older and it would seem that the majority of people are not looking forward to it. Three-quarters of the 1,086 survey participants admitted they were not looking forward to growing older, with this number increasing to 78% amongst women.

When asked what respondents were least looking forward to, the top three answers were:

  • More prone to illness (50%)
  • Losing your memory (44%)
  • Dying (30%)

Male participants also said they were concerned with aches and pains (27%), while women were more worried about losing mental capacity (28%). Women were also apprehensive about loneliness and losing independence, with 23% selecting these options.

However, despite the majority of people worried about health concerns when it comes to growing older, there was a 50/50 split when we asked if they were worried about becoming a burden on their family as they age.

Does age restrict what you can do?

There was a consensus (68%) amongst participants that physical activities, such as exercise, sports, running and walking, become challenging as you grow older. However, the 79-year-old Woodcock twins who, despite both having knee surgery, still find the time to ride their motorbikes, proving that age and injury doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you love. Read about their story here.

Survey participants also shared their stories of older people achieving great things despite the assumption that ageing means you have to give up physical activities. One participant said their ‘great uncle still goes on long cycle rides at 88 years old’, while another said their 84-year-old mum ‘still teaches a keep-fit class’. Nadia Smith, who has had both of her hips replaced, doesn’t let her age get in the way of doing what she loves. Find out how she does it and her story here.

For many people, the 50s and beyond are a chance to explore new experiences and take up new hobbies, and this can be possible for a lot of people by taking good care of your joints. Staying active is important as a person grows older - by engaging in regular exercise you can help to maintain independence and good health for longer. People who are inactive are more likely to suffer from aches and pains than those who lead an active life. We’ve outlined six activities to keep you active when older, which can be found in this blog post.

It’s not all doom and gloom

Despite three-quarters of people in our survey saying they feared growing older, people said that they were most looking forward to more perspective on life (39%), retiring from work (37%) and travelling more (31%).

One person who has not let age get in her way is Sarah Dawkins, who after a personal crisis has gone on to become a multi-award winning entrepreneur. You can read her story here.

We know that staying active can become increasingly difficult as you grow older; however, ageing doesn’t automatically mean you have to give up the things you love or continue to explore new experiences.