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Losing independence is a bigger ageing worry than dying

2nd December 2009
 
More people are afraid of losing their independence as they grow older (49%) than of dying (29%), according to new research released today (2 December) by charity the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF).
 
When asked about the things that concern them most about getting older, over two thirds of people (68%) say losing independence or becoming dependent on others, second only to concerns about ill health (74%). Despite the current climate and pension concerns, struggling to cope financially (44%) comes in third.
 
The survey also revealed that almost half (44%) of us are worried about having to move into a care home in old age.
 
Thanks to better health care and healthier lifestyles, more people than ever are living to 100, but as the UK’s older population continues to grow rapidly and the demand placed on the welfare system increases, there is both a need and a desire for people to be able to retain their independence and stay in their own homes as long as possible.
 
DLF’s Chief Executive, Christine Shaw, says:
 
“Getting older should not be a barrier to having choice and control over the quality of your life, or be a reason to move out of your own home. Many older people just need help, ideas and advice about the simple equipment that exists to help them with daily tasks and to lead full, active and safe lives. The tasks that most older people struggle with include getting into and out of the bath, using stairs and preparing food, including opening packaging and containers. But these shouldn’t be reasons for people to rely on home help or be forced to move.”
 
DLF is the UK’s leading source of impartial, expert information and advice on equipment to help older or disabled people continue to live full and independent lives in their own homes. A national charity, with 40 years’ experience, it provides an unparalleled range of free information and guidance vital in helping older people find the items they need to continue to lead independent lives.
 
DLF’s research also indicates that two thirds of people (65%) currently help an older family member, neighbour or friend with basic tasks to help them get by.
 
Christine Shaw adds:
 
“A huge number of people out there are caring for friends and family members who can’t cope with daily tasks like cooking or shopping. In many cases there are tools and gadgets available that can help people do these things for themselves but they are just unaware of them. We are here for older people and those playing a caring role who want to find out about the right equipment to help make daily life easier and safer.”
 
For help and information about equipment and gadgets to make daily life easier, visit DLF’s impartial advice website www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk
 
If you do not have internet access or would prefer to speak to an experienced DLF advisor you can call DLF’s helpline on 0300 999 0004 (10am-4pm Monday-Friday). The call is charged at the local rate.
 
Ends
 
Further information
 
For more information or to speak to a spokesperson, please contact Kate Beard or Kirsty Kitchen on 020 7700 6952 or email Kate@amazonpr.co.uk
 
Notes to editors:

  • The poll of UK adults was based on a sample of 2,050 people carried out by YouGov between 13-16 November 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)

About DLF:

  • DLF is the UK’s leading source of impartial, expert information and advice on equipment to help older and disabled people continue to live full and independent lives and stay in their homes as long as possible
  • DLF is a national charity and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009
  • For help and information about equipment and gadgets to make daily life easier, visit DLF’s impartial advice website www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk
  • DLF also runs AskSARA, its award-winning online advice tool that guides people to appropriate and personalised information on products that can help them live more independently. Visit www.asksara.org.uk
  • If you would like to try out daily living equipment for yourself under the guidance of a qualified therapist, you can visit DLF's London Demonstration Centre with hundreds of items on display

 

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