Brits’ biggest worries about getting old – including hearing and eyesight loss

The biggest fears of getting old include failing memory, becoming less mobile and suffering from deteriorating eyesight, research has revealed.

A study of 2,000 adults found other major concerns about the ageing process are becoming forgetful, hearing loss and being lonely.

Struggling financially, not being able to drive and losing life-long friends and family members were also among the top fears.

And others hate the idea of people seeing them as old (26 percent) or as vulnerable (25 percent).

However, more than two in five adults are doing everything they can to try and prevent the signs of ageing.

Eating more healthily, doing more exercise and dyeing their hair were amongst the most popular things to ward off the ravages of time.

A spokesman for Scrivens Opticians and Hearing Care, which commissioned the study, said: “Everyone is bound to have their fears around getting old, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

“We need to embrace getting older rather than fearing the inevitable, and be thankful that we are alive to experience it.

“If you really want to hold off getting older, then it’s best to introduce certain regimes before the tell-tale signs even happen.

“Deteriorating eyesight and hearing can both be helped with if picked up early enough.”

The study found that feeling unattractive (21 percent), getting a hunchback (20 percent), and no longer fully understanding technology (17 percent) also worry Brits.

And almost one in six fear they will still be paying off their mortgage when they’re a pensioner.

However, 36 percent of adults, polled via OnePoll, admit to being in denial about getting older – while just under a third already consider themselves as “old”.

Despite being the youngest age bracket to take part in the survey, more than half of those aged between 18 and 24 claimed to have already taken steps to prevent the signs of ageing (55 percent).

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Surgery, Botox and lip fillers were among the most extreme procedures these young adults have taken.

Meanwhile, those aged between 45 and 54 were found to be more likely to go to the measures of moisturising, wearing new clothes and doing yoga and stretches to prevent ageing.

Furthermore, it was found that 62 percent of respondents think that eating healthily as you age is crucial to maintaining a youthful appearance, while 51 percent believe regular eye tests are important.

Frequent hearing tests were voted less important than eye tests by just over a third of respondents, with 42 percent of them believing hearing aids will make them look older, even though half believed they would improve their quality of life.

Hearing (37 percent) and eyesight (60 percent) were two signs of ageing that respondents claim to have worsened as they’ve got older.

The study found 64 percent of respondents are not aware of a connection between hearing loss and dementia, although failing memory and dementia is their number one fear of getting old.

Regardless of the worries of getting old, more than a third are looking forward to stopping work when they get older – and a quarter are looking forward to the free eye and hearing tests (26 percent).

Scrivens' spokesman added: “Deteriorating eyesight and hearing loss both feature in the top 10 concerns that people have about getting old, yet so many of us still choose to ignore these obvious signs, because we associate them with ageing.

“There is still a significant stigma around wearing a hearing aid, yet the earlier people seek help for hearing loss the better.

“There is no cure, but hearing loss can be treated. If people need hearing aids, they will be amazed at how far technology has advanced and how they can make a big difference to their quality of life.”

If you have concerns about your hearing (or even if you don’t) take the Scrivens online hearing check challenge here.


  1. Failing memory/onset of dementia
  2. Becoming less mobile
  3. Deteriorating eyesight
  4. Getting certain illnesses/diseases related to getting older
  5. Becoming forgetful
  6. Losing life-long friends/family members
  7. Hearing loss
  8. Losing your teeth
  9. Being lonely
  10. Struggling financially
  11. Having to have a carer
  12. Brittle bones
  13. Not being able to drive
  14. Not being able to do some of the more physical exercises you used to do
  15. Unable to walk fast
  16. Unable to exercise
  17. People seeing you as “old”
  18. Being seen as vulnerable
  19. Losing hair
  20. Saggy skin everywhere
  21. A tummy that will never be flat ever again
  22. People assuming you are past it
  23. Wrinkly neck skin
  24. Wrinkles
  25. Not feeling attractive in yourself anymore
  26. Unable to eat/drink what you want
  27. People looking past you like you don't exist
  28. Getting a hunch back
  29. Not seeing relatives as often as you'd like
  30. The fact you can't eat as much as you used to without putting on weight
  31. Not fully understanding technology
  32. Grey hair
  33. Finding it harder to get a job, if you want one
  34. Younger people thinking you can't relate to them
  35. No-one will fancy you/think you're attractive anymore
  36. Menopause
  37. Not living long enough to meet grandkids
  38. Bingo wings
  39. Still paying off a mortgage
  40. Turning into your parents

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