Ageism in Canada: Older Women Face More Discrimination Than Men, But Are More Optimistic About Aging, Research Reveals

Strong Social Circles May Hold the Key to Women's Sunnier Disposition

TORONTO, July 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians treat aging men and women differently, according to research from Revera Inc., a Canadian leader in seniors' accommodation, care and services.  According to The Revera Report on Ageism: A Look at Gender Differences, developed in partnership with the International Federation on Ageing, Canadian women 66-plus are more likely than men to be treated unfairly or differently because of their age (68 per cent versus 57 per cent). This translates into women aged 66-plus reporting more often that they are ignored or treated like they are invisible (46 per cent versus 32 per cent); they are also more likely to say people have assumed they are incompetent (32 per cent versus 18 per cent).

"We have a tendency to treat all seniors as a homogenous group, but this research shows that even amongst men and women there are significant differences in their aging experience," says Dr. Amy D'Aprix, gerontologist.  "It also shows how complex the issue of ageism is. We not only need to be more age aware, we also have to be aware of the role that other factors, such as the intersection of ageism and sexism, may play in the experience of older women."

Interestingly, Canadian seniors 66-plus are optimistic about aging, with women having the most positive attitude about getting older.  In fact, when asked to measure their outlook on aging, 61 per cent of women and 53 per cent of men reported being optimistic. Women 66-plus are more likely than men to agree with the statement "age is just a number" (47 per cent versus 33 per cent), and associate aging with positive developments from becoming wiser and more self-assured to being happier and a better version of oneself (75 per cent versus 63 per cent).

According to Dr. D'Aprix, while women 66-plus experience the impact of ageism more deeply, their sunnier outlook on aging could be linked to their stronger social circles. Females typically surround themselves with friends and family for support from a young age, whereas males are less likely to be as socially connected. In an earlier Revera study, conducted by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, 86 per cent of women 75-plus strongly agreed that regular social interaction with others is important to aging successfully, versus 72 per cent of men.

"Being socially active as we age helps us build a positive mindset and a fulfilling life," said Dr. D'Aprix. "The power of positive social interaction can have a real impact on emotional and physical health and this report is a good reminder that we all need to be purposeful about ensuring we have enough social interaction in our daily lives, just like we pay attention to how much sleep or exercise we get."

Joan, 82, resident at Revera's Leaside Retirement Residence in Toronto, is an example of a woman with an optimistic outlook and strong social connections.  To read Joan's story and others visit, a unique online destination launched in 2012, where Canadians of all ages are encouraged to learn more about ageism and its impact, take the "Are You Age Aware" self-assessment quiz and get tips from the experts on how to be more age inclusive.

"Older women and men are individuals with unique needs and life experiences," says Trish Barbato, Senior Vice President, Home Health & Business Development at Revera Inc. "Once we start recognizing these differences and treating all people with respect we will be one step closer to building an age inclusive Canada."

Notes To Editor:

Interview Opportunities are available with Dr. Amy D'Aprix, gerontologist, who is available to give tips on how Canadians can help combat ageism and build a socially active life.  Trish Barbato, Senior Vice President, Home Health & Business Development can speak about Age is More, Revera's initiative to fight ageism and celebrate ageless spirit.  Older women in the GTA and Ottawa are also available to speak about how they're living life to the fullest.

About Revera Inc.
Revera is a leading provider of seniors' accommodation, care and services; built on a 50-year history of helping seniors live life to the fullest. Our nearly 30,000 dedicated employees continually strive to serve a diverse group of clients and to offer choices to meet their individual preferences.  With more than 240 sites across Canada and parts of the U.S., we work to enhance lives in our retirement communities, long term care homes, U.S. nursing and rehab centres and through the provision of home health services.  Canadian-owned and operated, Revera serves approximately 30,000 clients every day, with the core values of respect, integrity, compassion and excellence at the heart of our business.  Find out more about Revera at or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

About International Federation on Ageing
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is an international, non-governmental organization and point of global connection to experts and expertise in the field of aging.  The IFA believes in generating positive change for older people through helping to shape and influence effective age-related and senior policies and practice. For more information about the IFA visit

About the Revera Report on Ageism: A Look at Gender Differences
The gender analysis was taken from two separate studies conducted by Revera:

Online from September 21st, 2011 to October 2nd, 2011 using Leger, The Research Intelligence Group's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,563 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of 4.3%, 19 times out of 20 for Canadians age 75-plus.

Online from August 24th to September 4th, 2012 using Leger, The Research Intelligence Group's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,501 Canadians Canadians aged 18-32 (Gen Y's), 33-45 (Gen X's), 46-65 (Boomers), 66-74 (Younger Seniors) and 75+ (Older Seniors) to better understand their attitudes on aging.  A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Audio with caption: "REVERA INC. - Ageism in Canada: Older Women Face More Discrimination Than Men, But Are More Optimistic About Aging, Research Reveals". Audio available at:

PDF available at:

SOURCE: Revera Inc.

For further information:

Kristen Marano 
Environics Communications 
(416) 969-2730

Sandra Vlaar Ingram 
Revera Inc.
(289) 777-1401

Jennifer Arnott
Revera Inc.
(289) 360-1372

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