Lifestyle People

Transitions – Part 1

Written by Ivan Sutton

Transitions – The Growing Options For an Aging Population – Part One of Four

As baby-boomers get older, we tend to be concerned about how we will be after retirement.  I for one visualize retirement as a time of sunshine, eternal bliss, the strength and vitality of youth, the clarity of mind that I have always enjoyed and loving family ever seeking more time with me now that I have retired.

However, old age can sometimes bring with it reduced mobility and memory.  As the lives of family get busier, the time we will actually spend with them may be far less than desired.  But how much do we really know about the future and what our overall state will be.

Our population is living longer.  In fact, the 2011 Canadian census revealed that 5825 people in Canada are over the age of 100.  That number seems to be steadily increasing overall from year to year.

There are over 4.3 million Canadians over the age of 65.

Before I started researching this article, my belief was that over 50% of seniors over 70 live in “old age homes”.  However the same census revealed that the numbers are pretty much unchanged since 2001, only 7.9 percent of seniors live in residences for senior citizens or health care and related facilities.  In fact, if you include seniors that require care, 83 percent of men and 75 percent of women receive that care at home.

This was a relief and thoughts of my kids carting me off to a senior’s nursing home as soon as I turn 70 started to fade.

In a survey conducted by Metro Interactive Agency of 125 people 50 years old and older, 80 percent said the greatest fear when thinking about the future is health concerns, but right after that at 74 percent is being alone.  In fact, most people are afraid that they won’t have adequate help in making choices on several issues.  Health issues, downsizing and life affordability topped the list of major concerns.

“At times of transition, whether downsizing to a smaller home, or moving to a care facility, we understand their needs and just look after things for them when it comes to selling the contents of their home that they are not taking with them,” said Tracy Foster owner of Sell My Stuff Canada – Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph. “

What I did not realize when I started this article was that there is an entire industry of support services out there that cater to the needs of seniors in transition and their families.

Continue with us during this series as we explore this fascinating industry from all angles.

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Ivan Sutton

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