Our health workers are aging too
Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, The Edmonton Journal
In health-care circles it's being called the perfect storm - baby boomers are starting to retire in increasingly large numbers , as are the front-line health-care workers providing support to them. Therefore the continuing care worker shortages we are currently experiencing are expected to grow.
In 2007, 75 per cent of elder care was provided by people between 45 and 64 years of age, according to Statistics Canada. That means many of those providing care to seniors were approaching retirement themselves. Nearly 16 per cent of caregivers were younger seniors aged 65 to 74, and eight per cent of caregivers were aged 75 and over.
Statistics Canada projections show that by 2056, the proportion of Canadians 65 years and older will more than double to over one in four. In addition, the proportion of seniors 80 years and over will triple to about one in 10, compared with about one in 30 in 2005. In Alberta, there are currently about 110,000 people receiving publicly funded, continuingcare services in home care, assisted/ supportive living and long-term care facilities.
With our society rapidly aging, we will experience a significant increase in the burden of chronic disease throughout the age spectrum. This puts pressure on both the continuing-care system and the health-care system as a whole, especially when considering the demographics of front-line health-care workers.
To read the full story: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/health+workers+aging/5492352/story.html
Canadian life expectancy jumps to 80.9
Carmen Chai, The National Post
New statistics show that Canadians are living longer lives, with those born between 2006 and 2008 reaching a life expectancy of 80.9 years.
Data released by Statistics Canada Tuesday showed life expectancy at birth for the three-year period was up 0.2 years compared to the average for people born between 2005 to 2007. It’s a significant gain from the national average of 78.4 years in 1995.
Canadians living in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are living longer lives compared to the national average with B.C. residents hitting the highest life expectancy at 81.4 years.
The lowest life expectancy at birth was recorded in the three territories combined where, at birth, life expectancy sat at 75.2 years.
Across the country, an upward trend of seniors living longer continued, the federal agency reported.
At age 65, seniors had a life expectancy of another 20 years in 2006 to 2008, also up 0.2 year compared to 2005 to 2007.
Jack Goodman, an associate professor in the University of Toronto’s faculty of physical education and health, said a steadily increasing lifespan for Canadians can be expected as medical advancements and healthier lifestyles pave the way for greater longevity.
“When we look at healthy aging and even aging in the presence of disease, there’s one thing that’s always a factor and that’s medical care,” Goodman said Tuesday. “The hypothetical (situation) is that there’s more medical support and resources available . . . and that’s a definite factor that would in some way play a role (in longer life expectancy).
To read the full story: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/09/27/canadian-life-expectancy-jumps-to-80-9/
Family ties loosen as society shifts
It's an issue as old as Cain and Abel: Am I my brother's keeper? My aging parents' keeper? My adult children's keeper?
That issue of family responsibility has been given a sharper edge in recent years by hard times and changing family dynamics.
In British Columbia, a woman is once again suing her adult children for financial support. It's an unseemly spectacle, 73-year-old Shirley Anderson back in court demanding that her five children increase the money they give her each month. Anderson's first victory was in 2001, when a court ruled that each child must pay her $10 a month; now she's asking for $750 a month in total.
Anderson acknowledges she's estranged from all of her children and grandchildren, which isn't surprising given their court battles.
Meanwhile in Italy, an elderly couple recently began legal action against their 41-year-old son, who refused to leave home. The couple say their son has a high-paying job and could easily afford to live on his own; he just doesn't want to. Italy's innovation minister, Renata Brunetta, has called for a new law forcing children over 18 to leave home.
It's estimated that more than half of Italian adults under 35 are still living at home. That's a reflection of Italian culture - parental indulgence and adult children's expectations - but it's also a reflection of high unemployment among young Italians.
To read the full story: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Family+ties+loosen+society+shifts/5474850/story.html
Aging series: Navigating stormy markets
The financial crisis was a wake-up call for boomers, who are living longer than ever before and increasingly carrying debt into their retirement years. There are ways to minimize the risks.
The names of Tony and Plu Dorcey’s boats — Carpe diem and Tempus fugit — capture their approach to life and retirement. Seize the day. Time flies.
Boating featured so prominently in their plans, the Dorceys borrowed money to buy one vessel in 2003 and the other in 2006.
What they didn’t bank on was the 2008 stock market crash, which blew a hole in their investment portfolio just as Tony was about to retire from his job as a professor at the University of B.C.
“There was great uncertainty about whether markets would come back,” said Tony, 67. “Now we know they did, but at that point, we didn’t. It was scary, it was such a big drop.”
The couple rode out the market crash and benefited from the subsequent rebound, but the financial shock prompted them to navigate a change in direction. Tony decided to stay the course at UBC. He’s teaching two classes this semester and will retire in December.
“I was fortunate that I could decide to continue, that I had that option,” he said. “For the people who retired the year before and didn’t have that option, they were in a much worse situation.”
Plu, 66, had already retired from her job as a kindergarten/Grade 1 teacher. The couple have good pensions through work, and they’re relying on those and the Canada Pension Plan for most of their retirement income stream, as well as about $150,000 in RRSPs.
Tony’s UBC pension is invested in a conservative, balanced fund with good management, he said, and low fees.
But the financial crisis sharpened the Dorceys’ focus on personal finances, including their debt: They owed $250,000 for the two boats.
Debt will be a retirement reality for many boomers, according to the Horizons Retirement Report, a survey commissioned by Rogers Group Financial.
Four out of 10 Canadians expect to owe money when they retire, the survey found.
One in six will have more than $50,000 in debt and one in 10 will hit 65 with more than $100,000 in debt.
Never Too Old!
CTV Ottawa has done a series of news clips featuring seniors who are not limited by their age.
Age doesn't stop these seniors from playing the sports they love. The CTV Sports team introduces you to local seniors who don't let age stand in their way.
Watch of few of these inspiring stories: http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110113/OTT_never_too_old_2011/20110819/?hub=OttawaHome
Clare Gardens a park designed for all generations
Your Ottawa Region.com
WESTBORO - The colourful, shiny new playground equipment Clare Gardens Park is the first thing that catches the eye as you enter the Westboro green space.
But look closer, and you will see this is a park designed for all ages.
Beds of flowers and shrubs line the park’s gently sloped, paved walkways that lead to checkerboard-topped game tables that feature room for a wheelchair or motorized scooter.
Continue down the path and there is ample room for parents to sit on benches and watch toddlers play, or take in an impromptu jam on a unique electrified stage that’s set to become a hub for budding young musicians.
An extensive renovation of the park just recently wrapped up and already the slice of green space is attracting people from all generations, which is just what the park’s planners hoped for.
“We wanted to make it a park to bring all ages together,” said Deb Chapman, a community organizer with the Westboro Community Association.
The most striking example of the park’s age-inclusive features is an innovative fitness station geared towards older adults.
The equipment is made by LifeTrail and features step-by-step instructions for a fitness circuit, including exercises that use its built-in cycling pedals.
A healthy dose of song helps seniors live a life outside of isolation
In an unassuming corner of Rexdale, a group of seniors gather every Friday to sing their hearts out. Shaking tambourines and beating drums, the 50 seniors need no encouragement to belt out the chorus of 'All you need is love', with their choir director urging them on, shouting cues "all together now" and "watch my hand."
"I can't imagine my life without this," said Hyacinth Hamilton, one of the seniors who has lived in the Etobiocke area for seven years. The choir is part of a larger seniors group at the Rexdale Community Health Centre, the Ethno-Cultural Seniors Program, and is preparing to perform at the urbanNOISE arts festival Sept. 10.
Co-ordinated by Wendy Caceres-Speakman, the seniors program aims to cut social isolation of at-risk seniors older than 55 years.
"We're in a community where many seniors are new Canadians or have been living in Canada for many years but because of barriers they can't access services so they become isolated," said Caceres-Speakman. A large barriers is money; many seniors in the area live on less than $9,000 per year, according to Caceres-Speakman. Mobility, health, and language are also barriers.
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