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Seniors And Happiness: The Happiest Generation In Canada Is Also The Oldest, Report Finds

03/19/2013 04:58 EDT
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Generation Y may get giddy about the latest nerdy gadgets and viral cat videos, but it turns out Canada's oldest population also has something to smile about.

Canadian seniors (over the age of 66) are more likely to be happy than any other generation. They were twice as likely as Generation X and baby boomers to define aging as a happy process, according to a survey by Leger Marketing and Revera, which provides accommodations and services for seniors.

"These findings help dispel some of the common stereotypes of aging that perpetuate ageist attitudes," Dr. Amy D'Aprix, gerontologist and expert on aging, said in the report. "In fact, older Canadians are very positive about aging, and this sends an important message to younger generations that getting older is not a negative thing."

So all those woes about back pain, wrinkles and loneliness doesn't seem to be making seniors any less happy than their kids or grandchildren. In fact, the report found that 65 per cent of seniors were happy with their life, while 57 per cent were optimistic about aging. Sixty-two per cent of those over 75 years old thought age was just a number.

What's the secret? Surrounding yourself with others is one way to start. A 2012 poll showed seniors (over age 65) who socialize were more likely to be happy, while another report found the key to happiness was to de-stress and de-clutter your home.

The Revera report, surveying 1,501 Canadians, also notes Gen Y and Gen X participants were the least happy — both with their current lives and the aging process. They also described the older generation (75 years of age and older) as dependent, sick, frail or grumpy.

Sadly however, even if these are just stereotypes, the Heart and Stroke Foundation says most Canadians do in fact spend their final decade of life in ill health. And with cancer now the country's leading cause of death, followed by heart disease and stroke, it may be good to be both optimistic and aware of our health as we age.

Do you feel happier as you age? Let us know in the comments below:

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