In Brief: This segment are distributed across the age range but are most likely to be aged 50-59 or 80+. While not the case for all in this segment, many of them live on their own.
Further, while some own their own home, some still rent – a significant drain on their finances and they often find they’re short of money at the end of each month. They are less likely than average to have enough money for their needs and are more likely to be in poverty. Many have a long standing illness and suffer with frequent pain – this affects every aspect of their life. They’re also socially isolated which makes them feel dissatisfied with their life.
The chart below indicates how the Struggling And Alone segment perform on a number of key measures that influence wellbeing in later life like health, finances and social connections. While precise figures are shown on the chart, to help you make sense of it at a glance, the greater the area that is shaded in, the better their score. The chart highlights two scores for each measure – those experienced by the segment, and the average for those aged 50 and above as a whole – hover over the axis points on the chart to find out more.
Those in this segment are considerably less likely to be in good general health compared to others, and much more likely to have a long standing, limiting illness. They are also much more likely to have pain most of the time, and to suffer from depressive symptoms.
In addition Trevor suffers from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is currently receiving tests for a possible bowel issue.
Those in this segment are more likely to be single and many live alone. They report low levels of engagement with the arts, and are much more likely to lack companionship compared to the average.
In conjunction with this they also made notes about what they were doing on each particular day. The diaries from the struggling and alone aged segment show the pressures they face, and how their health can affect their wellbeing.
Click on the days below to find out what they were doing, and how they felt.
"Could be better especially after being in hospital for a colonoscopy."
"Not feeling well."
"Feeling unwell and depressed."
"Met up with friends and had a great day."
"A close friend visited and we had a good laugh."
"A mundane day - nothing."
"Got an invite to an interview."
Trevor does not spend much time with other family members as they live further afield and poor health on both sides makes meeting up rather impractical. However he does speak to his mother fairly frequently on the phone.
Trevor would love to host his friends for meals but his current financial situation means he can’t afford to do so. This is something that really gets him down as he likes to be able to do nice things for others and cooking is something he really enjoys – often incorporating his own home grown ingredients. At the moment it feels like he can’t reciprocate the support that others give him, and this is difficult to deal with.
The new kitten has certainly made a difference in his life and looking after her has filled a significant gap in his time and has given him both a routine and a focus.
Finances are a big struggle for this segment. Of all the segments they are the most likely to be in poverty, and the least likely to have enough money for their needs.
He believes that he is facing ageism and that this is what’s preventing his return to the workforce.
At the moment Trevor does not have enough money for his needs. He depends primarily on assistance from his son and ex-partner. As Trevor struggles to get by day-to-day he has not been able to put aside much for the future. Retirement is the last thing on his mind as right now there is nothing he wants more than to get back into work.
Compared to others, this segment are less likely to feel in control at home – our interviews suggested that this is often related to their health and financial difficulties.
As a result, being out of work now does not just affect Trevor financially but has come with a huge emotional cost too. Trevor feels a big hole in his life now he is not in work – but thinks the situation is out of his control. This has contributed to recent problems with depression.
He describes his students as “my life” and feels that if only he could get back to his teaching career, everything would improve.
This segment includes a mixture of homeowners and renters. They are more likely than other segments to experience problems with their housing, and less likely to have at least eight amenities that they can easily access.
He loves his house which is important to him because he spends most of his time there. It also has enough space to host people for dinner or a weekend. Although this is not something Trevor can do at the moment, he hopes that this may be a possibility the future.
Trevor’s garden is also important to him as he like to spend time here growing vegetables and herbs which he then uses in the kitchen.