Happy social life

People aged 70 and over are happier than those in their 50s and 60s despite being more likely to live alone and have poorer health, new research shows.

The findings were released this week in the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre report Staying Connected: Social Engagement and Wellbeing Among Mature Age Australians.

Chief executive Michael O’Neill said the results were surprising.

“This older cohort is more likely to report socialising as much as they want with all the friends they want or need, so overall the quality of their social relationships is higher than for younger people,” he said.

But the study raised some worrying concerns about the wellbeing of people aged in their 50s who were more likely to feel isolated and lack companionship, O’Neill said.

“Possible reasons for this include job stress or unemployment, sharing their household with children and the hours involved in caring for their elderly parents.”

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