There are 50 tell-tale signs of ageing, which include listening to Radio 2 and feeding the birds, following a recent study.

It found that people who lose head hair but gain it elsewhere, join the National Trust and say ‘it wasn’t like that when I was young’ are showing their age.

The report said people feel older when they struggle to use technology or lose touch with modern inventions such as tablets or the latest digital TVs.

Other signs include taking a flask of tea on a day out, wearing glasses around your neck, always leaving the house with a coat and choosing comfort over fashion.

Most of the 2,000 surveyed did not feel there was a set age at which someone becomes ‘old’. Eight in ten believe you are only as old as you feel while 76 per cent plan on enjoying their youth for as long as possible.

But 58 per cent of respondents said they were worried about getting old, and are particularly worried about losing their memory, illness and physical deterioration.
Less than half are nervous they’ll be lonely and 52 per cent are concerned they won’t be able to look after themselves.

Four in ten people are also worried about having no money. Only 53 per cent have plans in place for a pension, and just 45 per cent have a savings account or retirement fund in place.

A spokesman for Engage Mutual, which carried out the study, said:

Ageing is a natural process and we can all recognise physical and attitudinal changes in ourselves as we get older. What is interesting is the general expectation across age groups that someone in the ‘older’ age bracket will look and behave in a particular way.  We know there are serious issues as we approach old age, in that we can run out of time to prepare ourselves to meet the potential physical, mental and financial challenges. But it doesn’t have to be bad news. Some describe the years over 50 as the best in their lives so far.

How many of the 50 tell-tale signs of getting old apply to you?

1. Feeling stiff
2. Groaning when you bend down
3. Saying “it wasn’t like that when I was young”
4. Saying “in my day”
5. Losing hair
6. You don’t know any songs in the top ten
7. Getting more hairy – ears, eyebrows, nose, face etc
8. Hating noisy pubs
9. Talking a lot about joints / ailments
10. Forgetting people’s names
11. Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style
12. Thinking policemen / teachers / doctors look really young
13. Falling asleep in front of the TV
14. Needing an afternoon nap
15. Finding you have no idea what young people are talking about
16. Struggling to use technology
17. Losing touch with everyday technology such as tablets and televisions
18. When you start complaining about more things
19. Wearing your glasses around your neck
20. Not remembering the name of any modern bands
21. You avoid lifting heavy things due to back concerns
22. Complaining about the rubbish on television these days
23. Misplacing your glasses / bag / keys etc
24. You move from Radio one to Radio Two
25. You start driving very slowly
26. Preferring a night in with a board game than a night on the town
27. Taking a keen interest in The Antiques Road Show
28. You talk to colleagues who are so young they don’t know what an Opal Fruit is
29. Taking slippers to friends’ houses
30. Listening to the Archers
31. Falling asleep after one glass of wine
32. Never going out without your coat
33. Getting bed socks for Christmas and being very grateful
34. When you can’t lose six pounds in two days any more
35. Gasping for a cup of tea
36. Taking a flask of tea or coffee on a day out
37. Joining the WI
38. Taking a keen interest in the garden
39. Spending more money on face creams / anti-ageing products
40. Spending money on the home / furniture rather than a night on the town
41. Taking a keen interest in dressing for the weather
42. Putting everyday items in the wrong place
43. Obsessive gardening or bird feeding
44. Really enjoying puzzles and crosswords
45. Always driving in the slow lane, or below 70 in the middle lane
46. Consider going on a ‘no children’ cruise for a holiday
47. Your ears are getting bigger
48. Joining the National Trust
49. Drinking sherry
50. Feeling you have the right to tell people exactly what you are thinking even if it isn’t polite


1 – 20: You’re young at heart but secretly love crosswords and use anti-ageing products just in case.

20 – 35: You’ve started taking your tea in a flask out with you and can’t stand Radio 1. Stay away from the sherry to keep feeling young.

35 – 50: Now you have most of the ageing signs it’s time to accept you probably aren’t just growing old – you are old. Enjoy being warmer than everyone around you and tell them so.

I was in the 1-20 category (in the lower end, of course) what about you?

This article was originally posted on The Telegraph online