Adults over 60 feel 'unseen' in society due to their age, research has revealed

A study of 2,000 adults found those in their seventh decade feel most ignored when clothes shopping, going for a meal or having a drink at a bar.

A study of 2,000 adults found those in their seventh decade feel most ignored when clothes shopping, going for a meal or having a drink at a bar.

And 68 per cent believe they have valuable untapped knowledge going to waste, with 52 per cent believing younger generations aren’t interested in hearing what they have to say.

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While 86 per cent fear certain crafts may disappear entirely if their wisdom isn’t passed on.

However, 87 per cent of younger people want to learn from the older generations.

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Dawn Roberts, clinical director at Specsavers Home Visits, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of its new skills hub in association with u3a (University of the Third Age), said: “The research has given an incredibly revealing insight into the thoughts and feelings of those over 60 – as well as those much younger than them.

“It has shown how changes in society can leave people feeling unseen and unheard, and questioning what they can offer to other generations.

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“However, thankfully, there is a strong appetite from younger generations to learn from the older generation so it’s just a matter of finding a way of making this happen.”

Feeling alienated

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Over 60s feel alienated by younger generations due to a different perception of manners and a lack of understanding of their experience, with nearly half feeling ‘out of touch’ with their younger counterparts.

Social media, music and the value of vocabulary were also among the things over 60s felt most out of touch with.

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One in six adults over 60 even claimed they have not had an in-depth conversation with someone much younger than themselves in more than a year.

However, young adults feel their older relatives and friends could educate them when it comes to money, history and cooking.

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While others would welcome the opportunity to learn about general home maintenance and how to behave in certain social situations.

And those in their sixties would like their younger counterparts to help them understand technology, culture and social media.

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Knowledge that is waiting to be passed on

It also emerged a third of younger adults have had an in-depth conversation with a relative over the age of 65 within the last week – although 76 per cent reckon their older relatives are somewhat unseen in society.

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According to the OnePoll data, nearly half will strike up conversation with an older person in a bid to stop them feeling invisible, while 46 per cent will always make the effort to say hello in passing.

Although six in 10 fear they’ll one day end up feeling similarly unseen in society when they get older.

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Dawn added: “There is so much knowledge and wisdom just waiting to be tapped into in the 60 plus age group.

“And following the research, it’s something we’re keen to help develop, which is why we have created the Specsavers skills hub where such knowledge can be shared to benefit people of any age.

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Sam Mauger, CEO of u3a, said: “Our members know that age is nothing but a number, and love to share their skills with – and learn from – each other.

“We are delighted to be working with Specsavers Home Visits to help them share their talents with the world.”

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Top 10 topics younger people would like to learn from adults over 60 

1.            History

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2.            Cooking

3.            Parenthood

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4.            Money

5.            Culture

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6.            Health

7.            Love

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8.            Marriage

9.            Philosophy

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10.          DI