First, assuming that the baby boom is a post-war phenomenon means we jump to the wrong conclusion when guessing the cause. The baby boom was not the result of frisky soldiers returning to Canada. It was, instead, the result of the very good economic times in the period 1952 to 1965 allowing for at-home moms and large families.
Rather than placing a tax on health needs -- as income-based drug plans do -- Ontario should consider a more positive road to universal pharmacare. Specifically, it should consider tax financing a universal drug benefit program that would give non-seniors the same coverage elderly residents enjoy today.
Twenty per cent of older adults live with a mental health issue. In Calgary alone, that equates to over 21,000 older adults, with between 1,000 and 2,000 living with severe and persistent psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder. These figures do not take into account individuals between 45 and 65 who have lived a higher-risk lifestyle and been intermittently homeless. Such individuals age more quickly than the general population, and often present as "functionally geriatric" well before the age of 65.
With the holidays just around the corner, this got me thinking about the issue of "frustration-free" packaging. Not only is complex wrapping simply no fun for the kids receiving gifts packaged in such a manner, the fact is it's a much larger issue for the most rapidly growing segment of our population -- older adults.
I heard a story this week about a civics lesson. It did not take place in a high school. It was a lesson both learned and taught by some elderly newcomers who were participants in a civic awareness project. Along with learning to speak English and finding out about the systems and the laws of Canada, these folks are being challenged to engage with their new communities.
Seniors ought to age in the community along with the rest of us, enabling socialization and access to resources that keep them mentally, physically, and most importantly, socially active. Bringing up the standard of the actual facilities that already exist would be a good place to start, but a longer term vision requires new models altogether.
I might be betraying my demographic but I think it's time we seniors started asking for less. For years now, those in the over-60 age group have been making out like bandits while the younger generations struggle to make ends meet. Unlike in years past, there are now relatively few seniors in developed nations suffering in poverty. The iconic image of an aging widow living on cat food is today largely a myth. Older folks, for the most part, live comfortable lives.
Much is made of health care costs for the frail elderly. But the healthcare spending curve by age group is actually U-shaped with equally significant amounts spent for childbirth and early childhood problems. So is one okay and the other to be disparaged? Does it need to be said that we were all once born and will all eventually get really old if we're lucky?
Although aging Canadians were typically the most financially stable age group, older Canadians are piling up debt more quickly than other demographics. A recent study by the Vanier Institute of the Family showed that more than 70 percent of those aged 55 to 64 held some form of debt in 2012, up from 61 percent in 1999.
A new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that a simple test measuring how fast people walk and whether they have cognitive complaints can predict later problems with dementia. The developed assesment will potentially allow for many more people to know whether they are at risk without complex testing.
It's a sad day for Toronto as a family will hold funeral for a seven-year-old girl. She was hit by a van near her home. Her death is an unimaginable loss to her family and the community. This loss of life should compel us to think about making our streets safer for all, but especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, who are more vulnerable than others are. The tragedy is raising questions about the harmful impacts of increased traffic on residential streets.
Now, in Australia, you get a lump sum pay-out (hardly any Aussies annuitize their lump sum). Once again, you have to manage your retirement on your own. Now, even if you knew exactly when you were going to die, this would be difficult, but when you have no idea of your personal life expectancy, this is a problem beyond the capabilities of the average Canadian.
In today's world of fast paced communication, it is helpful to go back to basics and try to remember how our elders communicated back in the day. Communication is the critical factor in any good relationship and communicating effectively with the elderly can smooth many a rocky and frustrating relationship.