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Aging Boomers Want Better Health Care Than Their Parents: Survey

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The outlook of growing older in the current economic climate continues to look bleak, as the struggles of boomers' elderly parents only provide a gloomy foreshadowing of what is to come.

A recent survey conducted by Leger Marketing for Revera, a provider of seniors' accommodation, care and services in both the U.S. and Canada, revealed that aging boomers don't want to follow in the footsteps of their forebears when it comes to expensive, endless medical bills and long wait times filled with pain.

The poll surveyed 1,563 Canadians in various age groups including boomers (ages 45-64) and seniors (ages 75+). 85 percent of the boomers surveyed said that they were not only discontent with their prospects of aging, but also wanted a better experience with aging than what both their parents and grandparents have seen. Boomers' first hand experience as current caregivers and expectations for the foreboding future could be crucial factors in driving prospective planning.

Jeffrey Lozon, Revera's president and CEO told The Vancouver Sun, "We need to recognize that seniors of the future are not the same necessarily as seniors in the past. The system ultimately has to be more comprehensive, flexible and it has to clearly define what our society is going to do."

How are future seniors different from their parents? 67 percent of boomers reported wanting to stay active and engaged with family, friends and community longer with age, and 63 percent wanted to be more physically active with age.

In a press release for Revera's finding, Lozon calls for the public to "re-imagine" what it means to live in a seniors' society, as in 10 years the first of the boomers will turn 75, becoming, what Lozon has come to coin them as, "super seniors", who will demand and expect choices that matter to them, namely, health care. Two thirds of boomers today cite insufficient health care in a time of need as one of their biggest fears in aging, a sobering statistic when one notes that by 2025, one in four Canadians will be 65 years old or older, as Lozon told The Gazette.

Regardless of segregated age brackets, the overall Canadian public's confidence in the country's health-care system is waning. 82 percent of boomers and 70 percent of seniors agree Canadian society is failing to respond to the real needs of older people. Boomers and seniors also agreed that top priorities should include providing access to care and services that allow seniors to stay in their home longer and providing access to more technology that will help them live independently for longer.