Community Development Coordinator
What is a senior? Well, in Canada a senior is considered a person over the age of 65 years. Watch out! This could well mean that we are being taken over by senior citizens!! Well, that’s not entirely true. But, what is true is that – for the very first time since Confederation in 1867, there are now more seniors in Canada than there are youth. That means that in 2015, there were 5.9 million people over the age of 65 in Canada!
Where are all the seniors? Generally speaking, Eastern Canada is considerably older than Western Canada and Northern Canada. Canadian cities with the oldest population are in Trois-Rivieres, Que: Peterborough and St. Catherines-Niagara in Ontario as well as Kelowna, B.C. And, about 92 percent of seniors live in private households (as part of a couple, alone or with others while 8 percent live in collective dwellings. As of 2016, about one-third of people aged 85 and over were living in “collective dwellings” such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities and seniors’ residences.
How do Canada’s seniors spend their time? Well, about three-quarters of senior men and women engage in “active pursuits” in a typical day – including socializing, volunteering, walking, doing sports or cultural activities. And, some of us even use modern day technology to communicate. And, these activities are very important to the communities in which our seniors live! Volunteering is a mainstay in rural communities…..supporting schools, churches, organizations and sports. Speaking of technology, older Canadians represent the fastest growing demographics on-line between 2013 and 2016, jumping 16 percent points.
But it’s not all leisure for seniors: many of them have jobs! In fact, in 2015, one in five Canadians aged 65 and older reported working during the year. Of these seniors, 30 percent are working full-time.
Seniors are a very interesting generation! Stay tuned to learn more about your senior neighbour. Watch for more senior trivia!!