Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, Scott McLeod.

The conversation around what it means to age is changing in a dramatic way. The newly released Revera Report on Innovation and the Aging Experience confirms the shift in attitudes with its findings. It calls out marketers and researchers who are stuck in ancient thinking about what aging Canadians want.

It criticizes how adults over the age of 65 are lumped today in a homogenous group. Revera, a company that owns more than 500 properties across Canada, United States and the United Kingdom that serve more than 55,000 older adults, is recommending that the market take into account that a person who is 85 years old has different needs and desires than a 70 year old.

Older Canadians are demanding better technology to meet their needs as they age. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, Gavin St. Ours.

Shining the light on the new reality is a good thing. According to Trish Barbato, Revera’s senior vice president, innovation and strategic partnerships, “There’s a tremendous opportunity for companies and startups to take another look at the senior population and come up with innovative solutions to older adults’ concerns about health or losing their independence. It’s really an exciting sector to be working in.”

Canadians in the later years of their lives also agree that companies need to wake up. In Revera’s national survey, 87 percent of respondents said innovation would help solve many worries they have about aging, while 84 percent stated that the private sector can do more to improve the aging experience.

Another key highlight is that older adults are not afraid of innovations and are actively looking for products and services that will allow them to live more independently and have more choice as they age.

The good news is there are ample business opportunities for Canadian businesses to lead the way and design cutting-edge products that meet the needs of an often overlooked segment of the population that is not only growing, but has wealth.