Aging in Place in Canada
For the first time in history older adults outnumber children in Canada.
Aging in place or Living in Place means having the health, social supports, and services one needs to live safely and independently in their home or community for as long as they wish and are able. It is also about aging in the right place, which means having options to housing with the support you need as your needs and goals change.
Stakeholders across Canada are working on advocacy, standard development, expanding services, creating products and innovative technology to supprt Canada's older adults to afe safely and live in place or find the right place. Here are some of the recent statistics and funding developments in Canada related to aging in place.
According to the Disability Survey of 2017, Statistics Canada suggests that by 2036, 25% of the Canadian population will be 65 years or older.
National Home Modifications Survey
The National Home Modifications Survey, commissioned by March of Dimes Canada in collaboration with Caregiver Omnimedia and conducted by Vivintel in 2021 found:
1 in 5 adults (21%) live with a permanent physical and/or mental disability which affects a major life function
Canadians are facing an "aging-in-place gap", as over three-quarters (78 per cent) of Canadians want to age in their current homes – but just 26 per cent predict they'll be able to do so.
2 in 3 adults (67%) agree with the statement, “Modifications to an existing home are more cost-effective than living in a retirement home or long-term care facility.”
Nearly 70% agree, “Aging-in-place gives a sense of dignity, which is unavailable to people who are in senior living facilities.”
To avoid inappropriate or early admission to a hospital or long-term care facility, is the top reason to perform home modifications among those who plan to modify in the coming years.
Ontario March of Dimes Home Modifications Survey
March of Dimes Canada conducted a survey of residents who had home modifications done to their homes. Here are some of the results of that survey (Long Term Outcomes of Home Modifications):
91% of the respondents reported that, as a result of the modifications, consumers could do things they could not do before the modification, and 41% that the modifications had had unexpected benefits.
The most frequent new achievements were in mobility indoors and in personal care, while the most frequent unexpected benefits were greater independence, improved personal care, improved mobility indoors, and improved quality of life.
The Federal Budget 2021 proposes providing $90 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch the Age Well at Home initiative. This initiative will support community-based organizations to enable low-income seniors to age in place. This initiative would also support regional and national projects, that help expand services, which have already demonstrated results in helping seniors stay in their homes. The NIA has made substantial contributions in advocating for enabling seniors to age in place, most notably through its recent Bringing Long-Term Care Home Report (2020) – which proposes a virtual long-term care program that allows older Canadians to continue living at home.