THE BLOG
01/09/2015 11:05 BST | Updated 31/08/2016 06:59 BST

A Positive Outlook and Healthy Dose of Romance Can Help Make Later Life a Better Prospect

The old adage that life begins at 65 has never been truer.

More people are taking on new challenges at a time when they once would be thinking of retiring. Older people want to remain independent for longer. Old age is no longer just associated with moving into a care home or struggling on alone in your own home.

It is not uncommon for people over 65 to take up new hobbies or even take on a new career. Older people are also going back to university to study or retrain. There has also been a rise in the number of the 'silver self-employed'. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, commissioned by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), found that this age group now accounts for 72% of all self-employed people.

The same is true of relationships. In our recent YouGov survey of 1,000 over 65 years olds, almost 50% of respondents thought that there was no age limit to finding new love. Indeed, a quarter of those surveyed said they had found love in their later years.

Old age is now considered by many to be a 'state of mind' and that maintaining a positive outlook can have a beneficial effect on your quality of life.

Living a full and independent life is what many older people strive to do. As our survey shows, the over 65s generally have a positive attitude toward dating, firmly believing age is no barrier to romance. Indeed, 45% think it is possible to find love using a dating website or app; 15% of those surveyed have used one.

The attitudes of today's over 65s are more permissive than those of previous generations and they have more opportunities to have new experiences in later life.

Although we face challenges as we grow older, such as in relation to health and mobility, more and more people are realising the benefits of finding ways to remain active for longer and of maintaining a positive state of mind.

With one in four people predicted to be over 65 by 2033, it is even more important to prepare for and be open to new experiences in our senior years. The ageing population is often portrayed by the media as a burden to the state, with these growing numbers of older people placing more demands on health and social care services.

Undoubtedly there are challenges with the changing structure of our society, but as our survey proves, older people do lead full and active lives. Let's not forget that they continue to contribute enormously to our society and bring the benefit of their skills, experience and outlook to younger generations.