THOUSANDS of people who expect to enjoy healthy old age will be disappointed according to a new MORI survey.

It showed that 69 per cent of people thought they would be fit and well, but in reality at least two thirds of people over the age of 75 have a long standing illness.

The survey was commissioned by recently merged charities Help the Aged and Research into Ageing and revealed that support for more research into illnesses affecting people in old age was not viewed as a priority by the general public.

The most deserving causes for research came out as cancer, heart disease and children's illnesses.

Only 20 per cent backed more research and financial support for illnesses such as arthritis and dementia.