Celebrating Seniors Month
Each June Ontario celebrates seniors, and the contributions that they make within our communities. This year is the 33rd annual senior’s month, and the theme is “Living Your Best Life”. For many seniors, living their best life means aging in a healthy way that allows for full life and community engagement.
According to the World Health Organization (2017), “for the first time in history, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. A longer life represents an important opportunity, not only for older people and their families, but also for societies as a whole”. The World Health Organization also recognizes that “societies that adapt to this changing demographic and invest in Healthy Ageing can enable individuals to live both longer and healthier lives and for societies to reap the dividends”. With this in mind, in 2014 the World Health Assembly developed a global strategy and action plan on ageing and health. This plan was developed in an effort to promote healthy ageing, and the construction of effective systems to better meet the needs of older adults.
June provides an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on healthy aging, and also on how we can better support older adults to live their best life.
Aging in Canada
Listed below are some highlights from the 2016 Statistics Canada Census, on aging in Canada:
- The median age of Canadians is 41.2 years, compared to 40.6 years in 2011.
- There are now more seniors (5.9 million) than children (5.8 million); and this is the first time that has happened.
- By 2061, it is projected that there will be 12 million seniors to 8 million children.
- There is an increase of 20 per cent in the number of seniors, which is the biggest increase in 70 years.
- There was an increase of 41.3 per cent in Canadians 100 years or older, which is the fastest growing age group.
- There are now 8,230 Canadians over the age of 100, and there are five times more women in this group.