Canadian seniors want more tech in their lives

A survey shows the areas where demand is greatest for digital tools and services among those over the age of 65.
AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence -NCE--7 in 10 Canadian

A new report is showing that not only are Canada’s seniors comfortable using technology, the majority use it on a daily basis and see the benefits of further incorporating it into their lives.

The survey was commissioned by AGE-WELL, a network of researchers, caregivers and stakeholders looking to accelerate technology based solutions for aging Canadians. It was conducted by Environics and polled 2,000 Canadians over the age of 50, splitting the results into those between 50 and 64, and those 65 and older.

The survey found that 74% of respondents 65 and older feel comfortable using technology, not far behind the 80% of 50-to-64-year-olds who said the same. Furthermore, 86% of those over 65 say they are online at least once daily, with 63% having a Facebook account. While 58% own a smartphone, 93% of those smartphone users report that they feel their devices are easy to use.

There is also an openness to having more technology in their lives, with 61% of those 65 and older saying the impact of tech on society is positive and only 15% saying it is negative.

The greatest demand for technology among this age group is in areas that help them maintain their independence; 70% said they’d be willing to pay out-of-pocket for technology that would allow them to stay in their home for longer. Eight in 10 believe technology can help older adults stay safe and independent, while seven in 10 believe it can help older adults reduce social isolation, stay active and manage their health better. However, adoption for these kinds of technologies is still relatively low: 90% have never had a virtual visit with a doctor, and only 18% use some kind of smartwatch to manage their health or wellness.