Top 15 Concerns About Aging

The aging process is often accepted with a combination of humorous resignation—it’s not a fun process, but it definitely beats the alternative, right? The truth of this statement varies from person to person, largely depending on how kind the years have been to an individual’s mental and physical health.

Indeed, “health issues” and “serious illness” top the list of concerns of the over 50-set, according to a recent survey by U.K.-based online social care marketplace firm, cloudBuy. Coming in at a close third was “My mind failing me,” a common fear inspired by the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease.

The survey, which was conducted on a group of more than 1,000 British men and women age 50 and over, led to some other interesting insights:

Men and women have different fears about aging: More women than men dreaded the following; a failing mind (66 percent versus 51 percent), losing their independence (58 percent versus 43 percent) and being lonely (39 percent versus 27 percent).

When do people start to worry about aging?
Concerns about aging seemed to start in the late 40s or early 50s for most individuals surveyed, but some were plagued by worries even before their 40th birthday.

Worry doesnt always translate to planning: Despite the fact that nearly all of those surveyed (95 percent) said they didn’t want to enter a nursing home, 70 percent admitted to having no strategies in place to help them deal with the challenges of advancing age.

Here’s a list of the top 15 concerns about aging that were uncovered in the survey:

  1. Health issues
  2. Serious illness
  3. My mind failing me
  4. Becoming forgetful
  5. Losing my independence
  6. Losing my sight
  7. Being a burden to others
  8. My body failing me, but my mind being completely fit
  9. Money
  10. Having to go into a nursing/care home
  11. My partner getting seriously ill
  12. Dying
  13. My partner dying before me
  14. Being lonely
  15. Having to move out of my home

The importance of planning for future needs

Experts tout the advantages of planning in advance for old age and retirement, but it is often those individuals who have first-hand experience as family caregivers of an elderly loved one who are most motivated to prepare for their future.

Here are some sentiments expressed by caregivers who say they will take steps to avoid placing undue stress on their younger family members:

“I plan to research facilities and move to one. What my mother has done to me has to stop. And it will stop with me. It’s unfair to ask anyone to take on the elderly.”

“I don’t want my children to go through what I have had to undertake. I’ve already told them there is to be no guilt whatsoever in any decisions they have to make regarding my elderly years. In no way do I ever want to be a burden; it is not my style and I certainly don’t want it to be my legacy. I had children because I longed to be a mother and take care of them. That in NO WAY is the same thing as taking care of an elderly parent, especially a demanding one. I didn’t have children for them to take care of me.”

“I will make my will, POA, and take care of all bills including burial, and hopefully leave a bit of money for each of my nieces and nephews.”

“I have learned that sometimes you have to ignore the negative voices around you that claim you are doomed to a life of pain and/or a loss of independence due to your circumstances. Sometimes, not all the time, the answer is still waiting to be found if we just keep open, keep listening, and refuse to give up on ourselves. Aging may be a part of life, but how we do so is largely up to us.”

Are you concerned about getting older? How will you plan for the future to avoid the challenges faced by many older adults and their families?

Related

3 People Who are Changing What it Means to Age
How I Learned to Make My Health a Priority
The Number One Reason Why Older Adults Refuse Help
The Unexpected Secret to Successful Aging
10 Things that Make You Feel Old–And What You Can Do About Them
6 Simple Ways to Safeguard Your Vision as You Age

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

106 comments

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson1 years ago

No sense in worrying. Only causes wrinkles and gray hair.

The alternative to growing old is not so good either. Think about it.

william Miller
william Miller1 years ago

yes the body failing before the mind will suck at 55 the body is already shot from too much abuse and hard work

Karen Counts
Karen Counts2 years ago

As I’m getting older I often find myself wondering about how I will deal with my “twilight” years. I fear for the burden it will place on my loved ones, and that fear stems mostly from the unknown. I recently read a book called Voice of Experience: Stories About Health Care and the Elderly by a husband and wife who are a Doctor and RN respectively. http://www.voiceofexperiencebrody.com/
It shares case studies and professional advice on how to deal with the later years of an ailing loved one. It has taken a great deal of the fear out of entering this stage of my life as I now feel more prepared and aware. It is an easy read and very informative, I highly recommend it. I hope you have a blog post focusing on this topic because I would love to read what others have to say about it…

Sheri P.
Sheri P.2 years ago

yep...getting old sucks! i hope my mind and body stay healthy for many more years to come...

heather g.
heather g.2 years ago

I had very positive views about 'retirement homes' because my parents lived in the most wonderful centre some years into their retirement. My father eventually moved into the centre's nursing home which was also excellently run.
What I shock it was when I looked around in the area I live in BC, Canada. When you are able to pay $4000+, you live in pleasant surroundings and are taken care of in a more professional way. The environment has a lot to do with how staff behave.
OK, I'm still in shock.....

Yola Stavridou
.2 years ago

Thanks for the article.I guess I`m rather lucky as I only started having certain worries about my old age after the age of 65.

Beverley Jeffs
Beverley Jeffs2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.. like most i have my concerns, but most of them are based on being a burden on my family. After having a transplant at 47 Ive learned just to enjoy one day at a time and not to worry too far ahead. It many never happen.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush2 years ago

The truth is, most people start to worry about aging, far too late in life.
This is not to suggest that we need to be paranoid about everything we eat and/or do. It simply recommends that we put into our bodies, what will benefit us later, as aspposed to immediate gratification.

Helga Ganguly
Helga Ganguly2 years ago

18 years ago,I had the right house for my old age.Then we moved.Now I'm stuck in a house that isn't good for mobility. Economics keeps us here. Life sucks.

Meta Reid
Meta Reid2 years ago

When we decided to get a house built for us, we decided to make it ALL handicapped accessible (even though neither my spouse or I are infirm in any way). This meant that all hallways, doorways, showers, kitchen sinks/ovens/etc, our upstairs (accessible by elevator), entries/exits have NO stairs just ramps, and our bedroom includes medical equipment outlets tucked behind the bed. We believe planning ahead will help us when we reach that age and in the meantime, help us and our kid if one of us were to break a bone, or have some other brief ailment befall us.