Living a Life of Purpose: New Research Shows Canadian Seniors Volunteer More Time and Money than any Other Age Group

June 20, 2019

MISSISSAUGA, CANADA–Canadian seniors are leaders when it comes to giving both time and money to the causes that matter most to them according to The Revera Report on Aging: Living a Life of Purpose, the 8th report on aging and ageism released today by Revera, one of Canada’s leading owners, operators and investors in the senior living sector. In fact, seniors’ efforts in giving back to their communities is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion raised for charities and other non-profit organizations and nearly $11 billion in economic value generated through their volunteer efforts.

“Seniors make a remarkable contribution to Canada. They are a vibrant, highly relevant part of our communities, from coast to coast,” said Thomas G. Wellner, President & CEO of Revera. “Today’s report illustrates how they are not only active community members, committed to living a life of purpose, but they also feel a sense of responsibility to create a better world for future generations.”

Revera’s report celebrates the contributions seniors continue to make in Canadian society and demonstrates that Canadians over the age of 65 volunteer more hours and donate more money to the causes that are important to them than any other age group.

“Seniors built the world that younger generations will inherit, and I can tell you as a senior myself, I care deeply about the future,” said Revera’s Chief Elder Officer, Hazel McCallion. “Older adults are willing and able to continue to make a positive impact in our communities, and I encourage Canadians to welcome and encourage their contributions.”

Revera commissioned a national survey of 1,000 Canadians over the age of 65 and held roundtable discussions with 150 residents living in Revera’s Retirement Residences and Long Term Care Homes across the country to better understand why Canadian seniors give back, and how they hope to shape the future.

Survey highlights include:

  • Canadians over the age of 65 contributed 42 per cent of all donations, equaling more than $4 billion, with an average donation of $2,500 according to Statistics Canada. This exceeds the national average by 40 per cent.
  • Nine in ten Canadian seniors say they do something to support the charities or causes that are important to them. In fact, 82 per cent say they donate money and more than one third (37 per cent) volunteer their time.
  • Volunteers over the age of 65 contribute on average 214 volunteer hours annually, well above the national average of 154 hours per volunteer and they are more likely to be considered a “top volunteer.” Top volunteers are those who are in the top 25 per cent in terms of hours volunteered.
  • Eighty-nine per cent of Canadian seniors believe they can play a significant role in working towards solutions to the issues affecting the world and a further 87 per cent agree they are hopeful future generations will make the world a better place.

Methodology: An online survey of 1,000 Canadian seniors, 65 and older, was completed in March of 2019 using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this quantitative study was +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90%.

Revera is a leading owner, operator and investor in the senior living sector. Through its portfolio of partnerships, Revera owns or operates more than 500 properties across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, serving more than 55,000 seniors with approxinately 50,000 employees. The company offers seniors’ apartments, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and long term care.

The Report can be viewed online here.



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