Rising costs of gas and electricity, and cash problems, are the biggest worries facing older people in Sheffield, a new survey has revealed.
Thousands of people over the age of 50 cited utilities and poverty as top of their concerns in one of the largest surveys of the ageing population carried out in the city.
Loneliness and crime also featured in the top five troubles keeping older folk awake at night.
Findings from Sheffield 50+, which has more than 2,500 members, show the majority of respondents do not let it get them down, however, as two thirds of those who took part rated their quality of life as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
The results of the study have been released in a bid to create a picture of life for an older person living in Sheffield. It was funded by the Co-operative and will help shape the priorities of Sheffield 50+ over the next few years, as well as being made available to other charities and organisations.
Chairman Tony Maltby said: “This is a major piece of work that provides a unique insight into the lives of our membership. It is both rigorous and scientific in its approach and is statistically reliable. We urge all agencies to read and act upon its findings.
“We will be basing our campaigning work on what we have found and use it to provide empirical evidence when demanded. We wish to thank Maxine Kuczawski from The University of Sheffield for her assistance with the analysis.”
Positive outcomes came when people were asked how they felt about the safety and appearance of their neighbourhood. Almost half said they were fairly satisfied, but when asked how much influence they had on decision-making in communities, 73 per cent answered ‘none’ or ‘hardly any’.
Helen Jackson CBE, a member of Sheffield 50+, said: “The survey shows how aware the over 50s are of the harsh financial climate. Yet they still appreciate the services offered and their own neighbourhoods, even though they don’t recognise the huge part they play Sheffield 50+ aims to give these concerns a louder voice.”
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