COTA believes its core business is to identify the needs and wants of older people and to respond to these through advocacy, advice and appropriate action. In doing this, we focus first on the hopes and aspirations of “third agers”, people whose families have grown up and left home, who have left the paid work force, but who are still living active, independent lives. Our second focus is on promoting respect, dignity and support for “fourth agers” who are dependent on others for their care.
COTA regards the third age as a time for personal development, for new experiences, new friendships, new challenges, a time for thinking positively about the opportunities which open up as former responsibilities end. Research shows that people who are optimistic and positive about their lives, their plans, their relationships enjoy better health and live longer than people who are pessimistic and negative about their future. COTA is therefore involved in promoting an active ‘third age’ and the social, physical and learning activities which constitute “positive ageing”.