One in five Canadians is a senior, according to Statistics Canada report

Photo by Christian Langballe

One fifth of Canadians are now 65-years-or-older, according to a recent release by Statistics Canada.

Released at the end of 2021, the data shows at 18 per cent of Canadians reported being 65 or older — along with a series of additional responses aiming at analyzing the health and policy needs of the quickly-growing demographic of older adults.

A large portion of older adults responded they wanted to get out and involved in different activities according to the survey results.

Thirty-one per cent reported feeling that “they wanted to participate in more social, recreational or group activities,” higher than the year previous where 18 per cent of respondents reported the same.

There was a gender divide in those wanted to get involved in activities: a higher proportion of women (37 per cent) responded in the positive as opposed to men (25 per cent).

Among those who said they wanted to participate more often in activities, a super majority (76 per cent) said that various pandemic-related restrictions were preventing them from doing so. This is a departure from 2019, where the highest reported barriers were health limitations (32 per cent) and being too busy (16 per cent).

Public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID also seems to have affected households of older Canadians who receive informal assistance from friends or family.

Canadians aged 65 or older reported that 14 per cent of them received informal assistance over 2020, down from 18 per cent in 2019.

Compared with 2019, there was no major change in how many older Canadians received informal help with meal preparation or delivery in 2020. However, there was a decrease in older Canadians receiving help with transportation (13 per cent against 9 per cent ); with housework, home maintenance or outdoor work (11 per cent versus with 9 per cent); and with managing care such as making appointments (6 per cent against 4 per cent).