The Demography Division of Statistics Canada predicts that the number of seniors will surpass the number of children aged 14 and under for the first time ever sometime between 2015 and 2021. They predict that the population of seniors will rise from 13.9% in 2009 to between 23% and 25% in 2036.
“Projections also show Canada will have far more very elderly people. In 2009, there were roughly 1.3 million people aged 80 or over. According to the medium-growth scenario, this could increase to 3.3 million by 2036.The number of centenarians is projected to triple or quadruple, depending on the scenario. There were about 6,000 centenarians in 2009.” 1
“While caring for an aging senior can be rewarding, many Canadian caregivers are struggling to cope with the stress, new research finds. Two new related studies from the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in six people—16 percent—providing informal care to seniors is experiencing some kind of distress. Those caring for a senior with dementia are most at risk. The two CIHI studies looked at more than 130,000 seniors who received publicly-funded long term home care in 2007-2008.Virtually all of these seniors (98 per cent) also relied on an informal caregiver, such as a spouse, adult children or friends. The informal caregivers often helped out with the senior’s daily living activities, such as shopping, transportation and medication management to bathing, dressing and feeding. The researchers found: Almost 75 per cent of aging seniors who were married received informal care from a spouse. Almost 75 per cent of those who were not married (widowed, divorced or single) received care from an adult child. But the stresses of the 24-hour a day caregiver job can mount-particularly on spouses, who often have difficulty coping with their role as caregiver.”2
Many seniors greatest fear is the thought of having to leave their own homes. Home is for many of us our sanctuary yet, as we get older the demands of taking care of an entire household on our own can be daunting. Also consider the effects of losing one’s autonomy and mobility; losing one’s mobility whether by physical means or by losing the privilege to drive can easily cause feelings of dependence, isolation and devastation.
We as individuals, members of families, and as conscientious citizens have to consider the changing demographics society is facing as baby boomers age. We are presently and must continue to find solutions to assist ourselves and our loved ones to age with dignity and respect. Aging at home is going to be one of the most important pieces to making that happen. Having a comprehensive outreach support system and an effective community support system in place many of us should be able to maintain autonomy and a good quality of life in our own homes as we age. Huron Home Helper, a quality non-medical home help service, has a passion, a mission and a vision to assist with this aging at home ideal and challenge!
HURON HOME HELPER
1. 4. Population projections: Canada, the provinces and territories, www.statscan.gc.ca
2. 5. CTV News Article, Many Struggle to Provide Care to aging Seniors: Study, Thursday August 26, 2010