Older Adults, their Families and Caregivers
The HNHB LHIN’s population is aging, and the largest growth over the next 10 years is projected among people aged 65 and over.
From 2014 to 2024 in HNHB LHIN1:
- The overall population is expected to increase by 8.6%
- The age group projected to grow the most is among people aged 65 and over, increasing by 32.5% to 340,000 people
- 1 in 5 people will be aged 65 and over
- The number of people aged 75-84 will increase by 40.1%
- HNHB LHIN will have a higher proportion of seniors than the projected Ontario average
Multiple reports note that the majority of seniors want to live at home for as long as possible. These reports also note that to remain in their homes many seniors require some sort of assistance to live safely at home as they age. The majority of this assistance (80%) is provided by family or friends.2,3,4 A senior’s first source of health support is typically provided by a spouse. This needs to be considered when planning community health services because the proportion of seniors that live alone increases with age.4 About 26.6% of the LHIN population aged 65 years and older lives alone. The proportion of females living alone is at least twice as high as males.5
Families and Caregivers
Providing care for a family member, neighbour or close friend can be very fulfilling and rewarding. It can also be challenging, causing caregivers to experience distress. Caregiver stress is more likely if the caregiver is providing many hours of care or the person to whom they are providing care has depression, cognitive impairment or displays aggressive behaviours.5
The LHIN works with multiple stakeholders on strategies to support seniors to stay healthy, remain safely in their homes (if that is their choice), and support families and/or caregivers while maintaining their quality of life.
1. Source: Population Projections, LHIN, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, IntelliHEALTH ONTARIO
2. Canadian Institute of Health Information. Healthcare in Canada 2011, A focus on Seniors and Aging
3. Canadian Institute of Health Information. Supporting Informal Caregiver-The Heart of Home Care August 2010.
4. Health Council of Canada Seniors in need, caregivers in distress: What are the home care priorities for seniors in Canada? April 2012 http://www.healthcouncilcanada.ca/rpt_det_gen.php?id=348#sthash.50QfmiXg.dpuf
5. Statistics Canada. 2013. Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (Health Region). Health Profile. 2011 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-228-XWE. Released December 12, 2013.