Climbing stairs and opening jars named as top tasks that get harder as you get older by UK over 60s

05 October 2018 . United Kingdom

Picking things up from the floor, opening jars and getting up and down the stairs have emerged as the everyday tasks which are more likely to become harder the older you get.
Resident with daughter in care home

Researchers who surveyed 1,500 over 60s in the UK also found adjusting to new technology gets trickier, as does carrying out household chores and getting up from an armchair.

Seven in 10 older adults admitted they took these simple tasks for granted when they were younger.

Among the things which older folk feel the younger generation are taking for granted are their health and being able to easily carry out their every day job or routine.

The research was carried out by Bupa Care Services who are opening their doors to the public to mark Silver Sunday, this weekend (October 7), the national day to celebrate older people and help combat loneliness and isolation.

In addition to finding particular tasks increasingly difficult, 28 percent said feelings of loneliness have also increased as they’ve gotten older.

And worryingly, four out of 10 older people said they felt lonely either all the time or some of the time.

Staying in touch with, and visiting, friends and relatives also become more challenging – one in 10 find it harder to socialise due to mobility issues and having a smaller circle of family and friends around.

The study also found around one in five older folk feel socialising with younger people makes them feel younger, while around one in 10 said it made them feel older.

Joan Elliott, Managing Director for Bupa Care Homes, said: “It’s an inevitable fact that some things will get harder as we get older, but this needn’t get in the way of enjoying an active social life.

“This Sunday Bupa care homes across the country will be opening their doors, hosting a string of events to encourage local residents to join in and socialise.

“Isolation can be a real issue for older people, which is why we’re taking these steps to combat it.”

Putting on and taking off shoes, travelling by foot, and getting in and out of the bath tub also become more of a struggle.

Sadly, personal care such as washing or shaving also becomes much harder as does managing money and bills and taking care of a pet, according to the study.

But even as life gets tougher many don’t always feel able to ask for help.

Only four percent said they regularly seek assistance, while a stubborn six out of 10 said they never ask for help, according to the poll carried out via

Overall 77 percent said they ‘appreciated’ help as they get older, and that is probably due to the fact half admitted becoming ‘frustrated’ when they couldn’t complete everyday tasks.

Top 15 tasks which get harder as you get older: 

  1. Picking things off the floor
  2. Opening jars or packaging
  3. Going up or down the stairs
  4. Household chores
  5. Getting in and out of the bath tub
  6. Standing up from an armchair
  7. Getting around by foot
  8. Using modern technology
  9. Putting shoes on/taking shoes off
  10. Driving
  11. Going to the shops
  12. Staying in touch with family and friends
  13. Taking public transport
  14. Seeing family and friends in person
  15. Personal care, such washing or shaving face or legs etc

Silver Sunday is an annual day of fun and free activities for older people across the UK. Led by The Sir Simon Milton Foundation, it celebrates the value and knowledge they contribute to our communities while combating loneliness and isolation.

Everyone can get involved, whether that’s organising an event, spreading the word, or simply attending an activity.

For a list of all participating Bupa UK homes, visit:

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world.

We are an international healthcare company serving over 31 million customers worldwide. With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

Health insurance accounts for 17.9m customers and contributes 72% of our revenue. In health provision, we operate clinics, dental centres and hospitals in some markets serving another 13.6m customers. We also care for around 20,000 residents in our aged care businesses in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

We directly employ around 84,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Chile, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, the US, Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

For more information, visit