How Do Older Adults View Aging?

woman outside observing a garden

The Health Perceptions and Priorities of Older Adults

A Report From the McKinsey Health Institute


In May 2023, McKinsey Health Institute issued a report on the health perceptions and priorities of older adults. The survey involved more than 21,000 older adults—defined as age 55 or older—across 21 countries. The results provide fascinating insights into the perspective of what it means to age, what matters most to your overall health, and the desire to be socially active as an older adult.

These were some of the key takeaways of the McKinsey report:

“Having purpose, managing stress, physical activity, lifelong learning, and interacting with others matters most to overall health.”

Meaningful aging is tied to your overall health. The survey participants were asked about 53 different factors to assess what factors matter most to older adults: those factors rose to the top above things like “can afford desired lifestyle” or “spends time in nature.”

“Older adults are socially active, and many want to do more.”

There is an opportunity to increase societal participation for older adults. The survey looked at the engagement in and desire to engage in societal-participation activities among the respondents. Across all countries and incomes, the most frequently reported societal-participation activity was employment, followed by volunteering and community activities. More than 44 percent of older adults expressed a desire to engage in a new type of activity.

“Eighty percent of older adults want to live in their own home, but not all are able.”

Living at home is not without challenges for older adults. The survey found that 91 percent of those living in their own home or apartment wish to remain there, and 71 percent of those not living in their own home or apartment wish they could. These findings highlight the need to support older adults as they choose to age in place, as well as other living arrangements that may be beneficial, such as intergenerational living. The goal of PACE is to allow older adults to continue to live in their own home within the community safely and independently.

If you are interested in learning more about how the PACE program can support your desire, or that of a loved one, to live at home, please reach out to our team.


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