Vox Pop

Research shows that the concerns of the over-50s have changed over recent years (News Analysis, DW 31 July). What would you say are their priorities now?

‘The over-50s population is too big and diverse a group to generalise about, but uncertainties about the future of pensions will lead to many of us working longer to maintain an income, rather than taking early retirement. The current generation of 50- and 60-somethings could well be trendsetters here, and throw up a lot of interesting design challenges in the process. For example, what will the age-friendly workplaces of the future look like?’

Roger Coleman, Co-director, The Helen Hamlyn Research Centre

‘So, life begins at 50, does it? Well it does now that it is fast approaching. My priorities are to enjoy life and exorcise stress. I still like to go to bed feeling like I have achieved something or helped someone. Also, I am still obsessed by the new and the better, and don’t see why a date in my passport should change this. Anyway, these days everyone seems to have an official age and a real age.’

Sebastian Conran, Creative director, Conran & Partners

‘Just flicking through the back section of the Telegraph magazine, with its ads for hearing aids, Stanner stair lifts, personal panic buttons, mobility carts and side-opening baths, demonstrates that there is a very long way to go in understanding the sensitivity and the potential of the autumn of our lives. I hate the idea of being “targeted”. Age is a state of mind informed by experience. The richer and happier the experience, the better the state of mind.’

Mike Dempsey, Managing partner, CDT Design

‘It’s been a game of two halves for those with security and a good pension. The baby boom generation my parents are a part of have lucked out and their plans have not exploded. What has though, is the ability to have a second childhood, to have the money and time to do the things that they missed out on. The baby boomers’ children have fled the nest and time is now on their side. They’re not old, and they’re certainly not doddery. The requests I get are not about setting the video or re-lighting the boiler, but “can you water the plants for the next six months” and “where can I buy that Commes des Garçons aftershave?”. Perhaps it’s my turn to get a life.’

Simon Waterfall, Designer, Poke

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