Age UK has published an index and report to help improve understanding of how well older people in the UK are doing.
Based on the literature, focus groups with older people, and discussions with experts, the Age UK definition of wellbeing is:
“Wellbeing encapsulates how we are faring, in all domains of life, including financial, health, social, personal and the local environment. It explores the question of how well older people are doing.”
The project identified that there has been no single and coherent measure covering wellbeing for older people in the most important domains of life. Up to now, there has been no way to measure in the round:
- What is important in later life
- How older people are doing
- Where and why wellbeing is low
- What effect various policy and practical levers might have in improving wellbeing
Responding to this gap, Age UK have created an Index of Wellbeing in Later Life, which will support evidence-informed advocacy and policymaking, with coherent and person-centred quantitative intelligence. The Index covers 5 domains: personal, social, heath, resources and local.
Overall the findings from their work indicate that shows that social and civic participation and creative and cultural participation are all important, together making up almost 1/8th of total wellbeing in later life.
Other indicators such as being in good health, your personality, and having a large social network are also strong contributors.
You can read the full report, including the methodology behind creating the Index, on the Age UK website.