British Columbia is increasingly becoming a retirement destination. Seven of the top 10 municipalities with the largest share of people over the age of 85 are in B.C.
Four of those are on Vancouver Island.
Now, more than ever before, we need to ask: what makes a neighbourhood a good place to grow old and what makes a neighbourhood a good place to be active – physically and socially?
For seniors, maintaining health and mobility through physical activity and social connectedness is an effective approach to attenuate the escalating risks of falls, frailty and chronic conditions. Becoming or staying physically active can retain health, preserve independence and prevent admission to higher levels of care later in life.
Thoughtful investments in health promotion and prevention can positively shift health care costs related to our aging population.
What challenges may arise If there is no investment in upstream solutions to promote and sustain the health of seniors? The projected escalation of health care costs for 1 million seniors over the next two decades would be simply unaffordable.
The opportunities lie in having a healthy and vibrant population of seniors.