Healthy Life


June 15, 2023

The results of a survey from the McKinsey Health Institute shed light on the health perceptions and priorities of people aged 55 and older.

Earlier this month, a new McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) survey of more than 21,000 older adults (defined as those aged 55 and older) across 21 countries, found that the importance of having purpose, managing stress, enjoying meaningful connections with others, and preserving independence were key priorities in older life. 

Insights showed that in the UK alone, mental and social health was more important than anything else, and it was also noted that the greatest perceived-health benefit is seen with volunteering and employment. Additional findings showed that:

“Older adults in high-income economies are active but less engaged than their peers”

“Many older adults who wish to work are unable to find a job”

“The desire to remain independent can be a barrier to accessing care”

The survey demonstrates how the mental, social, physical and spiritual aspects become much more important as we age, but it also shows that healthy ageing begins with individual actions at any time throughout life. Those that follow certain behaviours throughout their life, such as taking regular exercise to improve health and socialising regularly to build a strong network of people, actually show that motivation can be easily found and encouraged in our later years. 

Ageing well isn’t only possible: it’s attainable. To make this a reality for a rapidly our ageing population – in which the average life expectancy continues to rise – global stakeholders should consider how to enable a healthy life in these older and longer years. It’s the hope that with surveys such as these, employers, local governments and healthcare providers can gain an insight into an older adults perception on life, take note of what is wanted and needed, and then begin to implement changes while encouraging what is hoped to be part of a wide-scale ageing transformation. 

To read the full article and survey, visit the Mckinsey Health Institute.