Celebrating Older Americans

In celebration of Older Americans Month this May, :DentalPlans asked people over 50 about their lives now, and what they look forward to experiencing in the future.

Two of the biggest changes that come with aging is that you care more about health and fitness, and much less about what others think about you, according to survey respondents.

Almost three quarters (66%) said that care more about their physical health now than they did when they were younger, while 32% reported no change in their level of health interest. Only 2% said that they care less about their health now than they had previously.

The importance of fitness increases sharply as the years pass, according to the study’s findings. A little over half (57%) of the respondents are more interested in physical fitness now than previously. 35% reported no change in their interest, while just 5% said that their concern about fitness had decreased over the years.

Growing older seems to ease the pressure of people-pleasing for some; 42% of survey respondents say that they now care less about what other people think about them than they did in the past. That said, 51% percent said their level of concern over public perception has remained the same. And 7% reported that they care more about what others think of them than they did when they when they were younger.

The nation’s average age of retirement is now 62, according to a Gallup poll, and :DentalPlans’ survey aligns with that statistic. Most respondents who were retired did so within the ages of 60-65. A very small percentage, a lucky 5%, managed to retire between 45-50 years old.

The majority of both male and female survey respondents (59%) said they look forward to travelling during their retirement. Other highly-ranked favored activities were divided by gender, with 44% of women anticipating spending time with family, and 34% of men looking forward to focusing on their hobbies.

Many of those surveyed are already living the dream: 69% of the older Americans surveyed had traveled at least twice in the past year.

Taking classes was a less popular activity than seeing the world. 53% reported taking no classes in the past year, but among those who did, computers, cooking, religious and college courses were popular choices. Fitness classes were the most popular choice among those surveyed.

Older American’s focus on staying healthy was also clear in their concern about dental hygiene. Just under half (49%) see their dentist twice a year for a checkup, professional cleaning and x-rays.

38% followed the American Dental Association’s recommended routine; brushing twice a day and flossing once. The majority (40%) brushed twice a day, and flossed less regularly, 18% rarely flossed but are regular tooth-brushers and 4% said that they brushed and flossed whenever they wanted to do so.

Since 1963, the month of May has been dedicated to highlighting older Americans contributions and raising awareness about the issues facing older adults. One of those issues is accessible, affordable dental care. Medicare does not cover the majority of dental treatments and supplemental Medigap plans typically do not cover dental care either.

Oral health is increasingly being linked to overall health, and regular dental care is among the best ways to maintain wellness. And there’s no need to skip dental checkups and cleanings due to a fixed budget.

Dental savings plans, an established alternative to traditional dental insurance, helps to make quality dental care affordable for everyone, with discounts of 10%-60% on dental care from a nationwide network of dentists. To learn more about dental savings plans, visit dentalplans.com.

Survey Methodology: The survey was conducted between the dates of April 13 and 15, 2016, using an online opt-in consumer panel.  A total of 507 responses were collected.

 

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