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Silver Economy summit about effects of aging population

A “New Frontier” is taking hold in Nova Scotia – one that is influencing everything from the age at which we retire to emerging health care technology.

It’s a demographic trend so powerful that hundreds of people will meet for two days this month to examine how Nova Scotia can seize the opportunities.

Not a technology trend, with its iPhones and iPads, this movement is all about a group of people growing larger and stronger with the passing of each birthday. It’s called the Silver Economy, and it’s based on the fact that in Nova Scotia, 1,000 people a month turn 65.

In Canada, the trend is hitting Atlantic Canada first. Nova Scotia now has the oldest population in the country with a maturing baby boom generation. The number of seniors, currently 138,000, will nearly double over the next 20 years, making it the fastest-growing population group in the province.

The Nova Scotia government is better positioned than most provinces to seize the opportunities that come with this growing demographic. The province has thirty years of nationally respected experience in addressing seniors-related policy.

For two days in May, the department will lead the country by hosting the first-ever Silver Economy Summit in North America.

Registrants will hear first-hand from visionary Joe Coughlin, who will share his thoughts about what it means to “age cool.” A pioneer in the Silver Revolution, Coughlin is the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) AgeLab.

An astute and engaging thinker on aging, Coughlin has been studying and experimenting with the “New Normal” for the past eight years. The program was created to understand the behavior of the 45+ population; the role of technology; and the opportunity for innovations to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families.

“We are inventing the future of our quality of life,” says Coughlin who predicts good prospects for the province with our many universities and seniors population.

Coughlin will be one of more than a dozen engaging speakers at the event on Thursday May 13 and Friday May 14, 2010 at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.

The Summit discussion is geared towards business owners and entrepreneurs, employers, volunteer organizations, service- and policy-based organizations, researchers, and anyone whose organization will be affected by the far-reaching implications of an aging population.

“The positive opportunities on the horizon will be discussed, including growth opportunities, the new workplace and Encore careers,’’ says Minister of Seniors Denise Peterson-Rafuse.

The Summit will bring together solutions, ideas and tools of trend-watchers and successful organizations that are positioned to prosper in the Silver Economy.

Ms. Peterson-Rafuse says she will go to the Summit to talk with others, collaborate and take away ideas that can work in her constituency and for government. “Things are already changing,” says Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “We have to start now to take advantage of the opportunities.”

For on-line registration, go to www.silvereconomysummit.ca and to receive updates through Twitter, Facebook or RSS feeds.

Early bird pricing is available until May 1, and reduced rates are available for students, seniors and non-profit organizations.

For questions, call 1-800-670-0065 (toll free in Nova Scotia) or 424-4649 in Halifax.

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