Dr. Blair Roblin was the guest speaker at the October 18 Canadian Club of Halton dinner where he shared his thoughts about the biggest social phenomenon to hit the 21st century – the aging of our society. He discussed how this will soon impact all facets of our lives including health care, employment, consumer marketing and technology.

Dr. Roblin holds a PhD in health policy & gerontology from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in disability studies from York University, as well as a law degree, an MBA and a Chartered Business Valuator designation. As a consultant to business, his insights have been drawn from over 30 years of investment banking experience, advising boards and management teams on growth strategies, mergers, acquisitions and capital markets.

“Health care is the largest single expense for most governments, and seniors’ care is the biggest component” Dr. Roblin says. As a researcher in health care services for seniors, he spoke at length about the growing demand for long-term care beds and for home care alternatives, the lengthening waiting lists and the disparity in the funding of home care services compared to long-term care facilities. He admitted that his vision of alternative housing through a program he dubbed as “Home Sweet Home” where like-minded seniors live together in a private home helping one another, staying fit, encouraging a healthy life style and giving seniors continuing ways to contribute will not work under Ontario’s current regulations.

“The economic implications of aging extend all the way from pension plans to consumer markets. As the role of the older worker expands, management teams and HR departments strive to reconfigure the workplace while the law tries to keep up” Dr. Roblin says.

Ageism, discrimination on the basis of a person’s age, portrays seniors as feeble, senile, bad drivers, depressed, disabled, constipated and lonely. However, seniors today are feeling much younger and “are more focused on creative activity and individual rights and they even look quite different from seniors of the past.”

View photos from event.