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Older age ‘happiest time of people’s lives’

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According to research by friendly society The Oddfellows, older age can be one of the happiest chapters of your life. In contrast to the latest media cover about loneliness and isolation amongst older adults, 80% of Oddfellows members described themselves as happy or very happy, while 82% said they felt they had a valuable role within the local community. By comparison, only 69% of non-members described themselves as happy or very happy, and 71% said they felt they had a valuable role within the local community.

Surprisingly, their sample found those in their 70s are significantly happier than those in their 60s.

So why could this be?

Apparently the main cause of discontent is explained by the disparity between the dream of a golden retirement and the reality of being thrust into a new and, sometimes, frightening phase of life. Many miss the familiar and comforting social benefits of a working lifestyle and feel bereft when this chapter of their life is over. In fact, many newly-retired people feel marooned, lacking a plan, a social support structure and the meaningful social interaction they took for granted when they were working. And this is especially so if their families, as is increasingly the case, do not live nearby.

Oddfellows spokesperson Dawn Walters says: “People simply look forward to having a lot more time on our hands, but that can translate into loneliness, a lack of purpose and a longing for social interaction.”

If you’d like to find out more about The Oddfellows, follow the link below.

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