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North-east OAPs rock out their retirement


By Kirsty Brown

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Scotland's OAPs are rocking out their retirement and not watching life pass by from the stereotypical rocking chair, according to the findings of a new survey.

Whilst Covid is currently restricting lives - particularly those of older people - new research has found that in normal times you’re more likely to find grandparents in Scotland at gigs, listening to heavy metal, working out at the gym or hiking across the local countryside.

A UK-wide study of 2,000 nans and grandads highlights today’s grandparent is a far cry from the older generation of yesteryear and young-at-heart OAPs in Scotland are no different, living life very differently from their parents.

The survey of the region’s ‘golden oldies’ found 58 per cent of grandparents in the area fondly remember the swinging 60s with 62 per cent revealing their musical tastes are shaped by the rock they listened to in the 60s and 70s.

Almost half are fans of heavy metal with grandparents listening to rock acts such as Bon Jovi (34 per cent) and Led Zeppelin (30 per cent) proving their musical tastes haven’t mellowed over the years.

Contrary to belief however the older generation also have a penchant for modern music too, with almost a third confessing to listening to Robbie Williams and more than one in ten to Little Mix.

More than half believe they aren’t a stereotypical grandparent, while 42 per cent claim they haven’t felt as carefree as they do now.

Just over a fifth enjoy hikes while 15 per cent like going to gigs.

Far from being dinosaurs when it comes to technology, grandparents in Scotland are social media savvy with 81 per cent on Facebook, almost half watch videos on YouTube, 18 per cent are on Instagram and more than a fifth are on Twitter.

There’s a new breed of ‘granpreneurs’ in Scotland too, with 19 per cent running an established business or having set one up since they turned 50.

Marketing director at Oak Tree Mobility (who commissioned the research) Verity Kick said: “Many of us can still be guilty of taking the stereotypical view of older people in a rocking chair.

"The reality is very different.

"Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t do certain things, as the research clearly shows.

“The phrase '40 is the new 30' has now shifted upwards, as people live longer – so in many ways, 60 is the new 30.

"Of course, this doesn’t apply to every grandparent, but our study has found many are enjoying their lives just as much as they did in their younger years.

“Mobility is hugely important to being able to enjoy life to the fullest.

"If you can move around your home and the world in comfort, it can feel like it takes years off your age.”

The study also found 55 per cent of the region’s grandparents feel like they’re actively doing a good job of changing people’s perceptions of what ‘old’ people are like.

More than three in ten grandparents don’t believe their grandkids see them as ‘old’ and more than three quarters believe they’re nothing like their own grandparents were at the same age with some of their craziest hobbies including driving on a race circuit.

When it comes to bucket lists, the twilight years aren’t dampening grandparents’ thirst for adventure with more than half wanting to visit an exotic, faraway destination, 39 per cent want to see the Northern Lights, a quarter want to visit the Seven Wonders of the World and nearly two in ten want to buy a holiday home.

If they could be any age again, 32 per cent would be transported back to anywhere between 21-30 years old, but more than one in ten (13 per cent) said they would stay their current age and are enjoying their rocking retirement.

Continuing Verity said: “Lots of the younger generation are afraid of what it’s like getting older.

"This is partly due to stereotypes around old people.

“Getting old doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love, listening to music you like or even rocking out at gigs.

“Comfort, taking care of joints and looking after your overall health and wellbeing in younger years is key and will pay dividends when you get older – mobility will become one thing you can’t take for granted.

“We have just launched a new national advertising campaign which reflects this social change and the new generation of grandparents who want to make much more of their lives as they grow older.

"Such a zest for life should help the older generation get back to normal after Covid.”

Udny Green's Derek Mitchell (66) has three children and four grandchildren aged between one and 39 who he credits with keeping him on his toes.

When he isn’t working full time as the managing director of Caledonian Logistics you’re likely to find him at trackside at a Formula One Grand Prix or trekking around the UK in his caravan...and he has no intention of ever taking life easy with a visit to the Canadian Rockies and world cruise on his bucket list.

Derek Mitchell
Derek Mitchell

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