The good news is… we are all living longer.
By 2038, people 65 and older will represent a quarter of the population (Statistics Canada 2015), and, in our area, the number of people 75 and older will increase by 125%! The average life expectancy in the Island Health footprint (Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Powell River) is currently 82 years.
Eighty-five percent of Canadians over 55 years indicate that they want to age-in-place in their present home for as long as possible, even if they experience negative health changes. Although we know this demographic change is upon us, most communities are underprepared and ill equipped to support seniors.
The Eldercare Foundation engaged people between the ages of 25 and 95 to answer the question: “How do we make the journey of aging easier?” Through the community’s feedback, it became extremely apparent that participants’ main concern was their inability to navigate resources and services in the community to help them age well.
Additionally, four overarching themes emerged through this feedback: Be Well; Be Connected; Be Secure; and Be Enriched.
These themes encompass the information communities need access to so older adults, caregivers and service providers can navigate the journey of aging.
The four themes that emerged through community consultations now stand as the four pillars of the Eldercare Foundation’s Embrace Aging initiative upon which ElderConnect™ is based.