Report offers clues on how Canadians are aging

The largest and most comprehensive study on Canadians aged 45-85 just released its first report on how we’re aging. The good news? Between 86% and 90% of the 50,000 participants self-reported good, very good or excellent health.

In each of the subgroups (ages 45-54, 55-64, 65-74 and 75-85) 89% or more of participants believed they were aging in a healthy manner.

The goal of the study was to measure and understand why some of us age healthfully, while others do not.

It’s no secret that Canadians are living longer, and our older adult population now outnumbers children under 15. “The evidence generated through the CLSA Report on Health and Aging in Canada will be instrumental in shaping efforts to effectively support healthy aging,” says Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.

These baseline findings were taken between 2010 and 2015 and present wide-ranging data on physical, mental and social aspects of aging. They included surveys on work and retirement, caregiving, transportation and mobility, and disability and falls, among other topics.

The study—which represents a national government-funded research collaboration involving more than 160 researchers from 26 universities across Canada—will follow participants until 2033 or until they pass.

Interesting findings

95% of participants reported their mental health as excellent, very good, or good. Approximately 5% reported fair or poor general mental health, and this proportion declined with age. The youngest CLSA participants reported the greatest concerns with mental health.

44% of older Canadians said they provide some level of care to others, and caregiving rates are at their highest (almost 50%) among individuals aged 55-64.

Women are more likely than men to express feelings of loneliness and social isolation, and that there is a notable correlation between feelings of loneliness and the prevalence of depression among older Canadians.

22.4% of participants aged 75 and up reported having one or more limitations with basic activities of daily living, or instrumental activities of daily living, including shopping, managing money and doing housework.

Almost 80% of retirees said they managed very well or quite well financially, while 17% responded they “get by alright” and only about 3% responded that they don’t manage very well or have financial difficulties.

Driving a motor vehicle is the most common form of transportation for older Canadians regardless of age, sex, geographic location, health or functional status.

Chartwell is dedicated to offering healthy, engaging and satisfying living for seniors, and offers a selection of accommodation and lifestyle options to suit a variety of individual needs and preferences. To learn more about retirement living at Chartwell, call 1-855-461-0685 today.