The 50 most dreaded signs of ageing were revealed today – such as groaning whilst bending down, taking slippers to friends’ houses and using the phrase “in my day”.
A study found that switching from Radio 1 to Radio 2, losing head hair but gaining it elsewhere and declaring “It wasn’t like that when I was young” are also tell-tale signs of getting old.
Other things to look out for include developing a love of sherry, taking a flask of tea on days out and falling asleep in front of the television.
A spokeswoman for Engage Mutual, which conducted the study of 2,000 people, said: ”Ageing is a natural process and we can all recognise physical and attitudinal changes in ourselves as we get older.
”What is interesting is the general expectation across age groups that someone in the ‘older’ age bracket will look and behave in a particular way.
”With an ageing population, and working beyond retirement age becoming the norm, the reality is that many older people are challenging the ‘pipe and slippers’ stereotype.”
The study found people feel older if their understanding of technology falls by the wayside, either by struggling to use it, or losing touch with more modern inventions such as tablets or the latest digital television options.
Fashion sense starts to go out of the window as age creeps up – as people choose clothes for comfort over style, start wearing their glasses around their neck and never leave the house without a coat.
People also feel they are leaning towards their later years if they don’t know any songs in the top 10, hate noisy pubs and complain about all the rubbish on the television.
Taking a keen interest in gardening, puzzles, crosswords and bird feeding can likewise be indicative of old age.
Knowing what an Opal Fruit is, thinking policemen and doctors look really young, and frequently misplacing items such as glasses or keys also point to someone who is getting on a bit.
Worryingly, 63 per cent of people polled think they are showing many of the signs listed in the top 50.
Although the majority of those surveyed didn’t feel there is a set age at which someone becomes ‘old’.
In fact, eight in 10 think you’re only as old as you feel, and 76 per cent intend to enjoy their youth for as long as possible.
Although cultural attitudes might encourage us to make light of ageing, 58 per cent of respondents said they are worried about getting old.
Losing your memory (56 per cent), illness (54 per cent) and physical deterioration (54 per cent) worry people most.
But 43 per cent are nervous they’ll be lonely and 52 per cent worry they won’t be able to look after themselves.
Four in 10 people are concerned about having no money – indeed, only 53 per cent have plans in place for a pension, and just 45 per cent have a savings account or retirement fund in place.
The Engage Mutual spokeswoman added: ”We know that there are serious issues as we approach old age, in that we can run out of time to prepare ourselves to meet the potential physical, mental and financial challenges.
”But it doesn’t have to be bad news. Some describe the years over 50 as the best in their lives so far.”
TOP 50 SIGNS OF GETTING OLD
1. Feeling stiff
2. Groaning when you bend down
3. Saying ‘It wasn’t like that when I was young’
4. Saying ‘In my day’
5. Losing hair
6. You don’t know any songs in the top ten
7. Getting hairy ears, eyebrows, nose, face etc
8. Hating noisy pubs
9. Talking a lot about joints / ailments
10. Forgetting people’s names
11. Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort, rather than style
12. Thinking policemen / teachers / doctors look young
13. Falling asleep in front of the TV
14. Needing an afternoon nap
15. Finding you have no idea what young people are talking about
16. Struggling to use technology
17. Losing touch with everyday technology such as tablets and televisions
18. When you start complaining about more things
19. Wearing your glasses around your neck
20. Not remember the name of any modern bands
21. You avoid lifting heavy things due to back concerned
22. Complaining about the rubbish on television these days
23. Misplacing your glasses / bag / keys etc
24. You move from Radio 1 to Radio 2
25. You start driving very slowly
26. Preferring a night in with a board game than a night on the town
27. Taking a keen interest in The Antiques Road Show
28. You talk to colleagues who are so young they don’t know what an Opal Fruit is
29. Taking slippers to friend’s houses
30. Listening to the Archers
31. Falling asleep after one glass of wine
32. Never going out without your coat
33. Getting bed socks for Christmas and being very grateful
34. When you can’t lose six pounds in two days any more
35. Gasping for a cup of tea
36. Taking a flask of tea or coffee on a day out
37. Joining the WI
38. Taking a keen interest in the garden
39. Spending more money on face creams / anti-aging products
40. Spending money on the home / furniture rather than a night on the town
41. Taking a keen interest in dressing for the weather
42. Putting everyday items in the wrong place
43. Obsessive gardening or bird feeding
44. Really enjoying puzzles and crosswords
45. Always driving in the slow lane, or below 70 in the middle lane
46. Consider going on a ‘no children’ cruise for a holiday
47. Your ears are getting bigger
48. Joining the National Trust
49. Drinking sherry
50. Feeling you have the right to tell people exactly what you are thinking even if it isn’t polite