Concerns of Older Canadians

Monday, June 2, 2014

Elderly coupleIt may be easy to ignore the worries of Canada's seniors while we are young, but the only way to secure a comfortable retirement for ourselves is to attend to those concerns while we can. 

Health Concerns

  • 70 percent of Canadians who are nearing retirement fear age-related health complications the most. This should not really be surprising, when considering the extent to which health problems plague the elderly and even ruin their ability to be independent. 33 percent of seniors now develop a disability in their old age, and this is likely to increase as the life expectancy rises. Canadian life expectancy has now exceeded 80 years.
  • 60 percent of Canadian adults say they would have to rely on government-provided home and long-term care when they are older, and the same percentage express little confidence that the current healthcare system can provide it. 
  • 80 percent of Canadian seniors prefer to remain in their homes when they become sickly, and a similar percentage suspect that the current healthcare system cannot provide it. In fact, Statistics Canada conducted a recent survey which partially confirmed this concern by showing that 34 percent of the basically healthy home-based elderly are at risk of not getting adequate nutrition, which could lead to any number of health concerns. 
  • It is not all doom and gloom, however. 37 percent of seniors report being in excellent or very good health, which proves that many do manage to stay healthy past retirement. Moreover, 66 percent report being in excellent or very good mental health, which testifies to the efforts that the Canadian government and our society have made to mitigate loneliness and depression in our senior population. 

Financial Concerns

  • 57 percent of Canadians nearing their retirement fear negative changes in their financial status, while almost all Canadians now report having access to state or private pension funds.
  • Under 10 percent of seniors report feeling unsafe in their homes, which is trending in the right direction. 

While seniors constituted only 13.5 per cent of the population in 2005, they will make up a full 24.5 per cent in 2036, and no population that neglects the concerns of such a large percentage of its population can be truly healthy.

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