5 Things to Know About Canadian Seniors’ Quality of Life

With Canadian seniors now outnumbering children, it’s good to know that there are some reassuring statistics regarding senior care, general satisfaction among seniors, and seniors’ quality of life. Overall, seniors are one of the most satisfied groups in Canada. Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.’s seniors’ advocate, released a report in January 2019 examining services and supports available for seniors and older adults in BC and whether they’re keeping up with the increased demand.

The Stats Canada and Monitoring Senior Services 2018 reports are extensive and overwhelming to read, so here are the top five things to know about Canadian seniors’ quality of life:

  1. Most of the senior population is reasonably healthy.

One of the most critical factors in determining seniors’ quality of life is health. According to Mackenzie’s report, only 8% of BC seniors are considered frail requiring residential care, palliative care or home support.” This bodes well in terms of seniors and older adults being able to enjoy their golden years.

  1. Seniors are more satisfied with their lives than those in younger age groups.

Statistics Canada’s findings from the ‘2016 General Social Survey on Canadians at Work and Home’ show general satisfaction among seniors is the highest of any age group. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, given their increased satisfaction in things like work-home balance.

  1. General satisfaction among seniors is highest when it comes to safety, quality of their local environment, and their personal relationships.

The Stats Canada study explored nine various aspects of life, including health, personal appearance, safety, personal relationships, standard of living, and time available to do self-interests. Safety ranked the highest, at 8.4 (out of 10). The quality of their local environment and personal relationships tied for second place at 8.3. More than 80% of Canadian seniors reported “always” or “often” having someone on whom they could depend to help if it were needed.

  1. The number of seniors waiting for long-term care has increased by 7% in the last year.

A seven percent increase isn’t too dramatic, but predictions show that this is only the beginning. Further, according to Mackenzie’s BC report, people on the waiting list to get into long-term care experienced an average wait time ranging from 14 days in Vancouver to 147 days in Northern BC. Similar wait times are seen across Canada.

  1. Family income was not significantly associated with life satisfaction among seniors.

Surprisingly (and in contrast with Canadian respondents in general), there was no significant association between family income and general satisfaction among seniors. However, those who stated that their retirement income was insufficient had lower levels of life satisfaction. Clearly, money doesn’t buy happiness — as long as there’s enough to get by.

Summary

Overall, Canadian seniors’ quality of life is still very high — and the general satisfaction among seniors reflects this. There’s an ever-growing need for long-term care options, but most seniors are happy with their lives.

How do you feel these statistics reflect your experiences as a Canadian senior? Are you happy with your quality of life? Tell us in the comments below.

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