Better government for older people

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Purpose To provide information and insight at a Lancashire level on the current and future needs of those either using or potentially using services for older people by 2025. Looking into the perceptions of the over 45s on a wide variety of subjects, such as personal values, economics, and health and the priorities of older people in Lancashire.

The research aimed to find out the key opinion drivers of perceptions and priorities, and give an understanding of the deeper reasons why older Lancashire residents have their perceptions and priorities.
Subject Older people
Commissioned by David Halpin, Co-ordinator/North West Regional Consultant (BGOP)
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Focus group
Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Older people (aged over 65)
Date 31/08/2005 - 07/10/2005
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team


Number in sample 2213
Number of responses 1706
Response rate 77%
Key findings More than nine in ten of respondents either use or plan to use the state pension to fund their retirement. Three in five use, or plan to use, a work pension and three in ten a personal pension. One in ten of the over 65 year-old group do some form of part-time work and a similar proportion of 45-65 year-olds plan to gain income from property to help fund their retirement.

Being financially comfortable is considered as the most important factor in having a happy old age. People aged less than 65 more likely to be concerned about their financial security than older groups, presumably because their pensions are not yet defined.

Staying independent increases in importance with age. Going into a care home is the greatest fear for people's old age, particularly for older respondents. Focus group attendees said they were afraid of being admitted to a care or nursing home. Sheltered accommodation is seen as an acceptable alternative however. Feeling safe in the neighbourhood is the most important factor for people to feel they could remain where they live in their old age. People of all ages are most likely to feel at least fairly safe themselves in all situations they were asked of, with the exception in the local town centre at night. Respondents were more likely to consider that older people generally are unsafe than safe when they are travelling at night, and in the town centre during the day and at night.

People aged less than 65 years tend to look forward to retirement, and most feel they will have a better standard of living in retirement than their parents do now. Those aged over 65 are very likely to agree that they are enjoying retirement, though are less likely to agree that they live to a better standard of living to their children. This implies that living conditions are expected to improve for older people in the future.

There is strong agreement that older people will play an increasingly important role in society in the future. Three-quarters of 45-64 year olds agree this will be the case compared to two-thirds of the 65+ group. Financially, respondents feel that people generally should be able to work beyond 65, but are unlikely to want to do so themselves.

Three-quarters of 45-64 year-olds say they intend to use their retirement for leisure, while two in three of the 65+ group say they actually do. There is also a significant proportion of the younger age group saying they will take part in adult education, compared to 41% of the 65+ group who do.

While many of the younger age group expect to care for their parents in old age, fewer expect, or want their parents to live with them when they can no longer cope. The older age group very strongly disagreed that they expected to live with their children when they could no longer cope, perhaps tying in with the strong need for independence mentioned earlier.

The car is the most popular mode of transport, used by three-quarters of respondents for going shopping for example. The bus is next most used, especially by the over 65-year-olds. From a long list of public services, only health is considered important by more than half of respondents at the moment. However, transport and community safety services are considered important for the future by a majority as well.

The greatest information needs are for health and healthy living, information on local neighbourhoods and social activities.
Outcomes Used in the development of the older people strategy for Lancashire.

Project document(s)


Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Mike Walker
01772 533445

Mick Edwardson
01772 530290