8 in 10 Canadians aged 65 and older believe that technological advances can help older adults stay safe

Insights

TORONTO /CNW/ –

A new survey commissioned by AGE-WELL, a federally-funded Network of Centres of Excellence, and conducted by Environics Research, offers a number of fresh insights into the attitudes of Canadians aged 65 and over and aged 50-64 toward aging, health and technology. The survey was conducted July 11 – 30, 2019 with over 2,000 Canadians 50 years of age and older.

 

“The findings show that Canadians aged 65 and over, just like those aged 50 to 64, are feeling confident about using technology and many feel the impact on society is positive,” says Bridgette Murphy, Managing Director and COO of AGE-WELL. “We also found strong interest among respondents in using technologies to stay healthy, engaged and living independently for as long as possible.”

 

The poll found that more than 8 in 10 Canadians aged 65 and older believe that technological advances can help older adults stay safe, in their own homes longer and independent. And 7 in 10 agree that technological advancements can help older adults stay active and manage their health better as they age, and can reduce social isolation. When they have difficulties with technology, 53% of respondents turn to their children and 18% to their grandchildren.

 

“With this level of receptivity and usage, we have an incredible opportunity to create products that will help people age well and remain in their own homes longer,” says Murphy. “Overall, the survey reaffirms our view that, as a country, we are well-positioned to be a world leader in the field of technology and aging.”

 

Among the key findings of this survey:

Attitudes towards Technology

  • 74% of those aged 65+ and 80% of those aged 50-64 report feeling confident using current technology;
  • Only 15% of Canadians aged 50 and over believe that the impact of technology on society is negative; 6 in 10 (61%) aged 65+ believe that the impact of technology on society is positive;
  • 7 in 10 (70%) Canadians aged 65+ and 67% of those aged 50-64 would be willing to pay out-of-pocket for technology that allows them to stay in their home longer.

Technology for Health and Wellness

  • Over 90% of those aged 50 and over have never had an online ‘visit’ with a doctor or health care provider;
  • 18% of Canadians aged 65+ and one-quarter (24%) of those aged 50-64 use a digital watch to help manage their health, wellness and/or independence;
  • Over 8 in 10 Canadians aged 65+ believe that technological advancements can help older adults stay safe, independent and in their own homes longer; 7 in 10 agree that technological advancements can help older adults reduce social isolation, stay active and manage their health better as they age;
  • 7 in 10 Canadians aged 50 and over would use the following technology for health and wellness: devices that alert people if you fall, that keep you mentally active at home, that help you recover at home, that help connect you with a doctor/health care provider and that allow you to stay independent at home.

Technology for Connecting

  • 86% of Canadians aged 65+ and 94% of Canadians aged 50-64 report being online daily;
  • 58% of Canadians aged 65+ and about 8 in 10 (78%) aged 50-64 own smartphones;
  • Among those who own smartphones, almost all (93%) of those aged 65+ find them easy to use, as do 98% of those aged 50-64;
  • Over 6 in 10 (63%) Canadians aged 65+ have a Facebook account; and about 9 in 10 (88%) Canadians aged 50-64 currently have at least one social media account (Facebook 72%, YouTube 46%);
  • When they have difficulties with technology, Canadians aged 65+ turn to their children most often (53%) and sometimes their grandchildren (18%).
Click to view the full survey highlights infographic
Click to view the full survey highlights infographic

About the Survey:

Commissioned by AGE-WELL, the Environics Research survey was conducted July 11 – 30, 2019, interviewing 2,027 Canadians aged 50 and over; 602 respondents (30%) for this survey were contacted by telephone and 1,425 (70%) via an online panel.

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