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 fears.

While others hate the idea of others seeing them as old (26 per cent) or being seen as vulnerable (25 per cent).

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 spokesperson 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 feeling unattractive (21 per cent), getting a hunchback (20 per cent) and no longer fully understanding technology (17 per cent) also worry Brits.

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

However, 36 per cent 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 per cent).

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

While 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 per cent of respondents see eating healthily as you age crucial to maintaining a youthful appearance, while 51 per cent believe regular eye tests are important.

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

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

The study found 64 per cent 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 not working when they get older and a quarter are looking forward to the free eye and hearing tests (26 per cent).

Scrivens’ spokesperson 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.[].


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 any more

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 any more

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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