Meeting the challenge from a ‘grey tsunami’

Governments at all levels must be prepared to address the challenges of an aging population, before the next wave of the tsunami hits

The steadily growing number of people in B.C. aged 65 and older has been described as a “grey tsunami” – an ominous wave threatening to overwhelm the province’s economy and health-care system.

The last census showed there were more than 20,000 seniors living in Saanich in 2011, and it’s quite likely the number has grown considerably since then. The census showed 18.3 per cent of Saanich’s population is made up of those aged 65 and over, well above the national average.

The Saanich Care Guide found in today’s Saanich News highlights some of the vital services provided to the community’s seniors, as well as the valuable contributions seniors make to the fabric of Saanich. Recent figures highlight some of the challenges this “grey tsunami” will bring to Saanich and other parts of the province.

According to to B.C. seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie, the majority of B.C. seniors are “taking care of themselves, and they’re taking care of themselves on their own dime.”

Ninety-three per cent live independently; 78 per cent of those who own homes have no mortgage; and, the “overwhelming majority” will never live in residential care, Mackenzie said.

Other statistics, however, seem to fly in the face of a rosy outlook for our seniors. And those numbers – including that 24 per cent of senior homeowners have an annual household income of less than $24,000, and the B.C. Seniors Supplement rate (for those with an income of less than $17,000) hasn’t changed in 25 years – merit concern.

For many seniors in our community and beyond, such living situations are untenable over the long term – a seemingly comfortable situation can change for the worse with even the smallest of missteps, be it an increase in rent, a bad investment or an unexpected expense.

Governments at all levels must be prepared to address these challenges, before the next wave of the tsunami hits.

 

Just Posted

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Saanich man escapes being run down by own truck

The man was working on his truck in the 800 block of Darwin Avenue, when it started to roll on him

Victoria businesses remain plastic-bag free, despite court ruling

Business association says no one has inquired into re-establishing the use of plastic bags

BC Ferries’ top boss helps clean Willows Beach

Old shoe, men’s underpants and too many cigarette butts on Willows

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

CO’s call off efforts to trap bear who attacked North Island man

Woss man recuperating after incident on remote logging road

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Advocates want charges in horse deaths during Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races

Chuckwagon races are a nightly spectacle during the Stampede, a 10-day annual celebration of western life

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Most Read