Today, governments are facing a new health crisis: the increase in the number of older people everywhere. For example, by 2036, the number of older people in Canada is expected to double to 10.4 million. This article will examine the challenges that governments and healthcare systems will face in the coming years and the ways in which other places are changing to adapt and reduce the effect.
In Canada, seniors make up the fastest-growing group in the population. There are many factors that have contributed to this, such as the increasing life expectancy, the reduction in the number of children in families and the large number of people born during the baby boom years. In 2051, at least 25% of Canadians will be 65 years old or older.
Many municipalities are trying to find ways to change certain services to help seniors. For example, buses are designed to have low-floors to facilitate the exit of the elderly people who might be handicapped. Governments are also putting resources into developing affordable housing for seniors. These changes contribute to promoting active living in seniors, because they can increase the access to services and allow them to live a healthy lifestyle.
Seniors tend to be more physically, socially and politically excluded from society than most other groups. However, with their population growing, they can get involved with organizations and work to organize events that specifically cater to seniors. For example, in Vancouver, the government provides money for community centres for senior groups. In Richmond, British Columbia, the government works to announce opportunities for seniors to get involve with others.
There are also committees designed to address the needs of seniors. Vancouver established a seniors’ advisory committee where seniors are invited to come talk about the problems they experience and give suggestions on how to society can best accommodate them. This can help by increasing municipal services and improve infrastructure for seniors.
City planners are also discussing ways to move seniors closer to the main areas of cities to improve their access to civil services. For example, in Vancouver, they are evaluating the building codes in order to make the buildings accessible by adding grab rails. Other buildings can be renovated at a low cost to add the safety features.
Making seniors active is a constant challenge for healthcare staff. There are seniors who have limited mobility and require assistance for tasks. In Richmond, British Columbia, healthcare professionals are coming up with techniques to adapt to elderly people. The exercise programs are evaluated to meet the needs of the people and there are more options at their disposal. They developed a method where medical information can be given to emergency responders that will assist them in understanding the medical background for the family members when there happens to be a crisis affecting the people.
Seniors who are exposed to health and social services tend to be more involved in society and are more likely go see the healthcare staff when they need help. They can also continue to be within reach of the people they are close with and need their support.
The number of seniors is supposed to increase at an alarming rate. The governments need to collaborate with community organizations and seniors themselves to identify how they can best suit their needs. By making services tailored to seniors, they will be part of a thriving society.