Top 30 things that give older people independence – gardening tops list

Retirees are determined to maintain their independence in later life, by dressing how they please, going on as many holidays as possible and learning new skills.

A poll of 2,000 adults in their seventh decade and beyond found 72 per cent are troubled by the idea of being a burden to others in the future. And for retirees seeking an active and fulfilling lifestyle, properties available for over 50s living Sunshine Coast provide the perfect blend of independence and support.  Residents can enjoy their freedom, pursue their passions, and make new friends, all within a safe and vibrant environment.

But while 73 per cent of those surveyed feel years younger than their actual age, 78 per cent feel keeping their minds sharp now will help them stay self-sufficient long term. As a result, many are turning to crossword puzzles, Sudoku and taking up a new hobby.

Others keep an interest in what their grandchildren are doing, have regular conversations with younger relatives about what’s cool and go to the pub at least once a week.

It also emerged 75 per cent still have numerous parts of the world left on their wish list they intend visiting, with eight in 10 seeing travel as a way to maintain independence.

Regaining independence

It also emerged energised retirees feel an average of 14 years younger than their actual age, and 36 per cent believe themselves to be more active than they were two decades ago.

While half (49 per cent) reckon they’re doing a good job of changing people’s perceptions of what ‘old’ people are like through their youthful behaviours.

However, a third believe their grandkids see them as ‘old’, although on average people reach the age of 63 before they felt ‘old’ themselves.

But, if they could pick any age to be again, they’d choose 30.

Says Spencer J McCarthy, chairman & CEO of Churchill Retirement Living, which commissioned the research:

“Independence can mean different things to different people as the results have shown.

“It’s incredibly important to people that they stay independent for as long as possible as they get older, and the research has shown many strive to achieve this by keeping their body and mind active and enjoying a full and varied lifestyle.

“As a result, it’s reassuring to hear that many feel younger than they are, and that people are increasingly active and adventurous in their later years.”

Top 30 things over 65s do to maintain independence

  1. Gardening
  2. Dressing how I please
  3. Eating a varied diet
  4. Keeping in touch with old friends
  5. Crossword puzzles
  6. Using Facebook
  7. Watching new TV shows
  8. Keeping an interest in what my grandkids are doing
  9. Taking vitamin supplements
  10. Exercising at least twice a week
  11. Abiding by the rule of having ‘a little of what you fancy’
  12. Playing with grandkids
  13. Getting lots of sleep at night so I have enough energy for the day
  14. Using public transport regularly
  15. Going on as many holidays as possible
  16. Sudoku
  17. Eating out frequently
  18. Stretching
  19. Dying my hair
  20. Learning new skills
  21. Regular conversations about what’s ‘cool’ with grandkids/younger family members
  22. Doing the ‘Wordle’ every day to keep my mind sharp
  23. Continuing to work
  24. Going to the pub at least once a week
  25. Hanging out with people younger than me
  26. Playing video games
  27. Taking up a new hobby
  28. Using Instagram
  29. Keeping up with new music/what’s in the charts
  30. Using Twitter


Chris Price