Majority Of Seniors Reject The “Old” Stereotypes

61% of seniors reject the stereotype of being seen as and called “old” – That’s according to a recent survey, by Amica Senior Lifestyles, debunking many ‘senior’ stereotypes

  • 61% of seniors reject the label of being “old”, with 3 in 5 (61%) saying they are more determined to achieve their life goals since the pandemic

  • 96% of Over 55s describe themselves as slight or very tech-savvy, with 76% having played video games in the past 12 months

  • 2 in 5 (42%) of Over 55s say the day-time soap opera stereotype is wrong, with almost two-thirds (63%) saying they prefer to watch or stream comedies

  • 2 in 3 (69%) want to try new sports or fitness activities, however, stereotypical activities like golf (38%) and lawn bowls (35%) are described as boring

The senior population in the US now makes up 29% of the US population, with over 94,542,000 adults in the US being aged over 55 and now facing the same stereotypes preceding generations faced.

In light of this, Amica Senior Lifestyles wanted to highlight just how these stereotypes are often wrong, and how 61% of seniors don’t fit or see themselves within the ways they are often depicted or viewed by younger generations.

The survey, of 1,203 seniors (over 55s) asked respondents about their current lifestyles and habits, their reactions to the pandemic and how it has changed their outlooks on life, their expectations of getting older, and their views on the stereotypes often labeled at seniors.

The full results of the survey can be found here:

https://www.amica.ca/conversations/survey-challenging-expectations-of-baby-boomers-and-seniors

The majority of seniors and ‘Baby Boomers’ reject the label of being “old”

When asked if they felt they saw themselves as being “old”, 61% of over 55s don’t believ they are old. This is highest in those between the ages of 55 and 59 (64%) and lowest in those over the age of 75 (50%).

These figures suggest that whilst their children and grandchildren might seem as old, the majority, or at least half, still feel they don’t fit the “old” narrative.

One reason for this could be the way they are seen in the media, where 30% believe the media depict those over 55 as being slow, 29% feel they are made to look lonely, and 28% believe they are made out to look boring.

However, as Amica Senior Lifestyle’s survey found, 3 in 5 (61%) over 55s have felt a renewed determination to achieve their life goals in response to the pandemic.

96% of over 55s view themselves as tech-savvy, 48.8% saying they’re very savvy

The vast majority of respondents (88%) believe that younger generations see older adults as being incapable of effectively using technology. However, 96% of older adults are of the view that tech-savvy, either slightly (47.2%) or very (48.8%).

These results suggest that many in society are underestimating older generations when it comes to technology use, especially during the pandemic.

Responses showed, during the pandemic, 50.1% of seniors have downloaded a new social media app and while 44.8% have downloaded music apps, and 41.4% have downloaded at least one gaming app. Meanwhile, 13.6% have downloaded a dating app in the last year.

Results also showed that 76% of seniors have played video games in the past year of the pandemic. Over half (53.4%) said they had played more video games over the last year than previous years, and a further 22.7% said they had played their first video game.

In fact, gaming in older generations is now so popular that 61.2% of seniors describe themselves as a “gamer”. The most popular gaming categories for ‘older’ gamers being; sports (28.4%), creative games (26.4%), and online multiplayer games (25.3%).

79% of seniors say younger generations would be surprised by their musical taste

Data showed that 79.3% of respondents thought younger people would be surprised by their music taste. Responses revealed that 28.7% of older adults enjoy pop, 26.3% enjoy classical music, and 23.4% enjoy hip-hop.

Results also showed that nearly 1 in 5 (17.3%) enjoy rocking out to heavy metal and 13.8% enjoy listening to house music the most.

In addition to surprising people with their musical tastes, 42.1% of older adults say the daytime soap opera stereotype is wrong, saying daytime soaps are “boring”.

Responses showed that comedies are the most popular TV choice (63.3%) for older adults, followed by romantic comedies (35.2%), and crime documentaries (34.8%).

52.6% of older adults want to try an extreme sport or thrill-seeking activity

Over half (52.6%) of respondents, to Amica Senior Lifestyles survey, said that they wanted to try an extreme sport or thrill-seeking activity.

The top activities older adults would like to try are; sailing (56.2%), hot air balloon rides (38.9%), driving fast cars (38.5%), and zip-lining (36%). One in three (34%) would like to try sky-diving while one in five (20.9%) would be interested in trying bungee jumping.

Even closer to home and in terms of more regular activities, many seniors want to try something new. Over two-thirds (69.6%) want to do new sport and fitness activities, and move away from the ‘traditional’ sports and activities stereotypically associated with seniors.

Data showed that 38.4%of seniors view golf as boring, 35.2% would not want to play lawn bowling, and 35% can’t bear to go mall walking.

56.9% of seniors have updated and expanded their travel ‘bucket-list’

Over half (56.9%) of seniors surveyed revealed that they had updated or expanded their travel bucket list; adding more destinations and activities that would differ from the stereotypical choices often associated with seniors.

In terms of activities seniors are typically associated with, 49.5% thought that coach tours were boring, 40% said they didn’t enjoy senior day-trips, and a third (33.5%) said they definitely wouldn’t want to spend two weeks on a cruise ship.

When asked what they would most enjoy when it comes to vacations, 29.8% wanted to take a trip to engage with nature more, whereas 27.3% said they want to visit big cities, and 26.7% are set on visiting all the wonders of the world.

In terms of vacation hotspots, the USA (39.3%), UK (28.5%), Italy (26%), Australia (24.3%), and Canada (23%), were the top five choices for older adults when they are able to travel.