Don’t worry, be happy! Retirees less concerned about health than Millennials

Sep 26, 2019
The new report challenges the stereotype that Baby Boomers are health-obsessed. Source: Getty

There may be a misconception among younger generations that older Aussies are obsessed with their health. But new research from comparison website has finally busted the myth once and for all, finding retirees are less concerned about their health than Millennials.

You could be forgiven for thinking that people would worry more as they age, but surprisingly only 66 per cent of over-70s worry about getting sick or injured, compared with 71 per cent of those aged 18 to 30 years old. However, more than half (58 per cent) of seniors admitted to being more anxious about falling ill now than they were three years ago.

Health expert at Anthony Fleming told Starts at 60 older Aussies might be a little bit less concerned because they understand their health is declining naturally and they’ve already taken preemptive steps to alter their way of life.

“Our research found that over-70s are most worried about conditions that worsen with age, such as major organ issues and blood pressure, while mental health is a bigger priority among the younger cohort,” Fleming said.

“In contrast, seniors were the least concerned with their mental health across the age groups. Research has found that one of the leading causes of death for older Australians is coronary heart disease, so it’s unsurprising that major organ conditions remains a significant worry for those in the later stages of life.”

The conditions that concern over-70s the most is cancer (50 per cent), health issues linked to their major organs (41 per cent) and having problems with blood pressure (37 per cent). In contrast, when asked which health conditions they worry about the most, 36 per cent of Millennials said cancer. Developing a mental health condition (31 per cent) and accidents from sports or fitness activities (17 per cent) also topped the list.

Meanwhile, across the whole respondent pool, the top three health conditions that concern Aussies the most are cancer (44 per cent), major organ conditions such as heart disease (26 per cent) and mental health conditions (23 per cent).

“When it comes to health, there is always some element of the unknown, making it imperative for over-70s to prepare for unforeseen health events as best as possible,” he added. “Treatments such as dental surgery and even ambulance services are often not completely covered by Medicare, leaving patients with out-of-pocket expenses. Private health insurance policies are broken down into hospital and extras cover, with different coverage levels for these services.

“Older Aussies can also apply for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which provides retirees greater access to cheaper medicine under the PBS scheme. This Seniors Card also offers bulk billed doctor visits and a bigger refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net.

“Health cover can help Aussies old and young alike get back on their feet faster and assist in mitigating health costs should they suffer a serious health setback. We encourage consumers to shop around for a policy that better suits their circumstances and maximises the benefits they can get at an affordable premium.”

It comes after a previous report found many Baby Boomers are more tech savvy than people may realise. The report, Senior Surfers, released by National Seniors Australia last month, challenged the false stereotype of older Aussies not being proficient at using digital technology.

The online survey of more than 4,500, whose ages ranged from over 50 to those in their 90s, found 70 per cent of older Australians use the internet everyday and 40 per cent use Facebook daily, with almost 20 per cent of those aged 80 and over.

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.

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