Our Senior Survey 2021 has produced some thought-provoking results; thank you so much to everyone who took part. The aim of the survey was to find out what it means to be retired in 2021 and we have had some fantastic insights. Almost 200 people filled in the survey which we are very pleased about, with a healthy 82% filling it in for themselves and a great number embracing online socialising during the pandemic. We read all of the comments made by responders with interest too; more on that later.
Age and living situation of respondents
87.4% of our respondents are 66 and over, with 6.5% aged 86 and over. And an amazing 94% of our respondents live independently, either alone or with someone else.
Unsurprisingly, with such a high percentage completing the survey themselves, almost all said they use a computer/ laptop / tablet / iPad or smart device. “This shows us a greater level of digital ability than we know is true for many who are retired or of retirement age,” says Ashley Jordan, the director of One Stop Organisers, who ran the survey. “Through our work helping people get connected online, and when we’re out helping people with downsizing, we see a large disparity in digital abilities over the age of 65. We’d love to talk to more people who don’t use computers and see how we can help them get connected. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them.”
Also, encouragingly, our respondents have embraced online socialising to stay connected during the pandemic, with over 90% planning to use a combination of in-person and online socialising, or just online socialising, once the rules have eased. It’s great that so many are using the technology available. “We have been running Café Connections (our one-hour-long online Zoom meetings), every Thursday, and our regulars all wanted to continue, even when in-person socialising started to open up again.” says Ashley. “The meeting is fun, social and informative, as we have a guest speaker three times a month.” More details are here www.onestoporganisers.co.uk/cafe-connections
Almost 70% of our respondents are in exceptionally good health or said they go to the doctor only occasionally. This is really good news.
But on the flip side, there were 30% who aren’t in good health or go to the doctor frequently. The survey showed that 11% of respondents receive attendance allowance which means there is definitely a portion of our respondents who aren’t claiming this benefit but could. 4.3% don’t know what attendance allowance is and as it is not a means-tested benefit there are many who could qualify but don’t realise this. “We work with Grey Matters Consultancy to help people apply for the benefit. We will be offering a free Zoom seminar with Caroline Romero from Grey Matters, in September and welcome any registrations of interest through our website.” adds Ashley.
Help with digital and other administration tasks
We work with older people on home projects, such as downsizing and reorganisation when circumstances change. And we know that our clients really appreciate our help with engaging and supervising contractors, assisting with technology and making phone calls on their behalf, to name just a few. As an extension, we wondered if a PA service would be something that people would use. It is becoming more prevalent for families to have admin help, so why shouldn’t someone who is retired?
As you can see, the majority think this is a something they would consider, with 12.5% being very positive about the idea.
We also asked about the name for our PA service, as Helping Hands PA has been our working title. Over a third, the greatest percentage, agree that they like this name and so we will be sticking with this!
Comments and suggestions from responders
One responder said to be careful not to ‘grannify’ this age group, which we do hope we don’t do, as our aim is empowerment with assistance. A few others mentioned certain phrases we used as no-nos for them. This is an extremely hard thing to get right. We have used ‘Senior’ for a long time because we know many people don’t want to be labelled retired, elderly, or pensioners. The ‘older generation’ seems cumbersome. But what is right? We don’t know, and we wish we had asked on this survey. A question for next year’s.
We spend the majority of our working day with those who have retired from full-time work or who have reduced mobility, each of whom have individual requirements which we fulfil. We take nothing for granted. For example, as our survey results have shown:
- some people need full IT assistance, while others have a pretty good working knowledge of their equipment (computer/phone/whatever);
- some will require assistance with telephone calls while others have this completely in hand
- some will need help with finding trusted tradespeople, while others have their own tried and tested go-tos;
- and, although retired, some are so busy with the projects they’ve longed to have time for, that no time is left for the things that we can help with.
Certainly one of the things our Café Connections members love, is having people they meet with on a weekly basis, of whom they can ask questions and receive sensible suggestions and, often, excellent recommendations.
We are really happy to talk anything through with you with no obligation whatsoever. Often your first step can be hesitant, so to put your mind at ease, do Google us and read the reviews that many people have been kind enough to give us.