Time to feel good about ageing
At Age Proud Leeds we want to change the story of older age, to challenge the overwhelmingly negative ideas around ageing that exist in our society, for people of all ages.
We want to celebrate the lives that older people lead and the contributions that they make.
We want to rebalance the story with the facts:
Older People are happier
In global studies (1) which look at happiness over the life course, it has been shown that wellbeing is highest in the early and later stages of human life. Happiness is at its lowest point around middle age, starts to increase after the age of 50, and continues on this trajectory as we move through older age.
“However universal or particular the reasons, most people over 80 report being just as happy, if not happier, than their younger counterparts.” (This Chair Rocks, Ashton Applewhite, 2019)
Older people contribute
Stories found in the media about ‘ageing populations’, usually focus on older people being a drain on society and a threat to our health and social care systems.
However, the evidence actually shows that older people are contributing huge amounts to our economy and our communities:
- older people are making an annual net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy
- Social care provided by older people is worth £34 billion a year.
- The value of older people’s volunteering is over £10 billion a year
“Older people are not just recipients, they are contributors. They are not just helped by volunteers, they are the volunteers. This growing proportion of our population should not be seen as an issue but as an asset” (A New Narrative on Ageing, EngAgeNet, 2018)
We know that not everything about getting older is positive. At some point we all face challenges and difficulties, maybe with our health, finances or in our relationships. But these are things that can affect people at any age. If we work together to create Age and Dementia Friendly communities, that adapt to the changing needs of older people, it will help people to remain healthy, independent and connected as they age.
Help us change the story of older age?:
- Tell us one good thing about ageing! - the process of growing older brings many positives - whether it’s more time, contentment, grandchildren - share your ‘good things’ with us.
- Celebrate an older person! - we want to celebrate the wealth and depth of contributions by older people. We invite you to celebrate an older person - it could be your gran, someone famous, a historic figure or even a fictional character!
- Send a postcard to your future self
- Read and use the Age Proud Leeds resource Feel good about ageing
(1) Is Wellbeing U-shaped over the life cycle?
(Blanchflower and Oswald, Social Science and Medicine, 2008)