New research highlights Irish people don’t fear getting old but ageing in good health remains the principal concern

New data from the Pfizer Health Index reveals views on ageing in Ireland

Dublin, Ireland, 30 September 2015 – 76% of us agree that getting old is inevitable and therefore not worth worrying about and 39% of us hating the thought of getting old.  This is according to new research from the Pfizer Health Index that was launched today.  The research showed that 55% of over 65s rate personal health as their most important concern followed by health and welfare of the family at 23%.

Ireland currently sits on the precipice of a major demographic shift.  The 2011 census showed that there were just over 535,000 people aged 65 plus and this is expected to increase to 1.4 million by 2046 representing a 161% increase on today’s numbers.  This brings with it a need for major re-shaping of services and resources to cope with the evolving needs of our population.

The Pfizer Health Index revealed the key concerns and worries of our society about ageing, ranked in order of concern as follows (note these concerns are nationally representative of the entire population aged 15 and over):

  • 61% of us are concerned about a decline in physical ability
  • 53% of us are concerned about memory loss
  • 46% of us are concerned about increased illness or developing a chronic disease
  • 38% of us are concerned about being a burden on our families
  • 25% of us are concerned about not having enough money
  • 23% of us have a fear of dying

The research also highlighted some of the more positive benefits associated with ageing.  54% of people stated having more time to spend with family and grandchildren as being the most positive benefit.  35% reported retiring from work as the most positive aspect while 34% reported having more time to take up a new hobby or activity.

Speaking about the research, Paul Reid, Managing Director, Pfizer Ireland said, “Getting old is something that we all have in common and it is clear that we are going to be facing a new reality in the very near future as the demographics of our society shift.   We will all play a role in ensuring that we create the right environment, supported by the right services and infrastructure, to ensure that we age as healthily as possible.  The Pfizer Health Index has revealed that we are anxious about ageing but our health and wellbeing is our key concern.  Embracing a healthy lifestyle, managing chronic conditions, availing of health screenings and immunisations and remaining engaged in the community are four important pillars in helping to live a longer, happier and healthier life.”

The Pfizer Health Index details the findings of a nationally representative quantitative market research survey of the health and well-being of the Irish population.  For further information on the Index, visit www.pfizer.ie or follow @Pfizer_Ireland on Twitter.