Canadian Healthcare Technology, September 25, 2019

TORONTO – A new survey commissioned by AGE-WELL, a federally funded Network of Centres of Excellence, and conducted by Environics Research, shows that 58% of Canadians aged 65+ and almost 8 in 10 (78%) aged 50-64 own smartphones, according to a new Environics Research poll commissioned by AGE-WELL.

“The findings show that Canadians over the age of 65, 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 survey was conducted July 11 – 30, 2019 with over 2,000 Canadians 50 years of age and older.

The poll found that more than 8 in 10 Canadians over the age of 65 believe technological advances can help older adults stay safe, in their own homes longer and stay independent. And, 7 in 10 agree that technological advancements can help older adults stay active and manage 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 over the age of 65 and 50-64 believe the impact of technology on society is negative; 6 in 10 (61%) over the age of 65 believe the impact of technology on society is positive;
  • 7 in 10 (70%) of Canadians 65 and over 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 50-64 and 65+ have never had an online ‘visit’ with a doctor or healthcare provider;
  • 18% of Canadians aged 65+ and almost 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 65+ believe technological advancements can help older adults stay safe, independent and stay in their own homes longer; 7 in 10 agree technological advancements can help older adults reduce social isolation; stay active and manage their health better as they age;
  • 7 in 10 Canadians over the age of 50 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/healthcare provider and that allow you to stay independent at home.

Technology for Connecting

  • 86% of Canadians aged 65+ and 94% of Canadians aged 50+ report being online daily;
  • 58% of Canadians aged 65+ and almost 8 in 10 (78%) aged 50-64 own smartphones;
  • Almost all (93%) of smartphone owners aged 65+ find them easy to use and 98% of those owning smartphones aged 50-64 find them easy to use;
  • Over 6 in 10 (63%) Canadians aged 65+ have a Facebook account. Over 8 in 10 (88%) of 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%).

About AGE-WELL
AGE-WELL NCE Inc. is Canada’s Technology and Aging Network. The pan-Canadian network brings together researchers, older adults, caregivers, partner organizations and future leaders to accelerate the delivery of technology-based solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians. AGE-WELL researchers are producing technologies, services, policies and practices that improve quality of life for older adults and caregivers, and generate social and economic benefits for Canada. AGE-WELL is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program. For more information, visit www.agewell-nce.ca.