What do people of different ages think about getting older?

The Attitudes to Ageing Survey was conducted by COTA Tasmania over the latter half of 2020. The survey was designed to increase understanding of what Tasmanians of different ages think about ageing.

Most respondents had mixed views overall about getting older—many people could see both positive and negative aspects of ageing.

In terms of negative perceptions, most of the responses focused on the health side of getting older and decline of faculties, whether physical or mental. Even if they could see some benefits to getting older, many people felt that getting older, or the thought of getting older, was scary or anxiety provoking.

There were also several very positive views of ageing with certain participants acknowledging there are actions individuals can take to make ageing easier or more fulfilling: preventative health and staying involved in social, creative and community activities were seen as important. Many respondents commented that being or feeling old is a mindset and societally imposed.

Perceptions of ageing could be less favourable if the respondents themselves, or their family and friends, were experiencing difficulties such as illness, hard economic circumstances, or lack of support.