Spending more time with family among the best things about getting old, study finds

best things growing old
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Spending more time with family - and not caring what others think are among the best things about getting old, a study has found.

Research polling 1,600 UK adults aged 60 and over found looking after the grandchildren is a highlight of older age.

And it’s not just watching over the youngsters, but playing games with them, teaching them news skills and reading with them are also among the top 20 things about your later years.

Retiring from work, taking up new hobbies and having more time to travel are also considered to be some of the best things about aging.

Patrick Stannah, MD of Stannah Stairlifts, which commissioned the research, said: ‘Having more time for yourself is such a valuable thing once you retire.

best things growing old

‘But what’s even more exciting is being able to reconnect with your family – especially with your grandchildren.

‘Our second Silver Census found over-60s look forward to spending time with their children’s children, whether it’s taking them on outings or reading together.

‘It is heart-warming to see such strong inter-generational links blossoming around both traditional activities as well modern communications channels.’

More: The best books to read to your grandchildren are all old titles

The study also found 45 per cent of doting grandparents get to spend more time with their grandchildren now than they did with their own children when they were the same age.

And one in six even said they are emotionally closer to their grandchildren than their own children.

The study found that the top 20 things about growing older were:

  • Retiring
  • Getting more choice over how to spend your time
  • Having more time for travel
  • Having more time for family
  • Not caring what people think
  • Going on more/longer holidays
  • Being less stressed
  • Being able to live spontaneously
  • Taking grandchildren on outings
  • Looking after your grandchildren
  • Being able to take up new hobbies
  • Having more disposable income to do what you want
  • Teaching your grandchildren new skills
  • Being more knowledgeable
  • Reading with your grandchildren
  • Playing games with grandchildren e.g. Monopoly, card games
  • Telling stories to grandchildren about when you were a child
  • Buying books for grandchildren
  • Reading to your grandchildren at bedtime
  • Not feeling tied down to one place
Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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