Public trust in the ability of charities to help people cope with getting older falls with age, according to an annual survey.
The annual Cost of Dying survey, carried out for the life insurance firm Sun Life Direct, says that 32 per cent of 40 to 49-year-olds regard charities as a trustworthy source of help with end-of-life issues, such as providing care.
But the proportion of people who see charities as trustworthy falls to 26 per cent among 60 to 69-year-olds and to 16 per cent for the over-70s.
Trust generally remains much higher in charities than in other professions, such as insurers, bankers, GPs and local government officials, but is well below trust in solicitors.
The survey of 1,019 adults, carried out by the polling firm Mintel, says affluent people are more likely to trust charities to help them prepare for old age.
Thirty-two per cent of ABC1s – people in the more affluent social classes – say they trust charities to help them, compared with 20 per cent of respondents in the C2DE groups, which is everyone else.
Simon Cox, head of life planning at Sun Life Direct, said the decline in trust in charities with age was a surprise. "We would have expected that, as you age, engagement with charities would be at its highest – and we would expect trust to improve," he said.
The company did not ask respondents the reason for their views but said it might do so in the next issue of the report.