Why Become Age Friendly?
Population aging and urbanization are two global trends that together comprise major forces shaping the 21st century. At the same time as cities are growing, their share of residents aged 60 years and more is increasing. As of 2007, over half of the global population now lives in cities.
WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide
It is estimated that in the next 10 years, Canadians over age 65 will outnumber those under age 15. Within 30 years, as the Baby Boom generation continues to age, the population over age 65 will grow from 4.2 million to 9.8 million.
Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Guide
Evidence shows that health promotion and disease prevention strategies can help those who are aging well, in addition to those with chronic conditions and those who are at risk for serious health problems—even very late in life.
At the same time, older adults continue to make significant contributions on a number of fronts—to their families (by providing assistance to spouses, children and grandchildren); to their friends and neighbours; to the community (through volunteering activities); and to the paid economy as skilled and knowledgeable workers.
The costs and benefits associated with aging and the impacts on communities and broader society make an investment in active and healthy aging.
In Ontario, the number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to more than double from 1.8 million, or 13.7 per cent of population in 2009, to 4.2 million, or 23.4 per cent, by 2036. The growth in the share and number of seniors will accelerate over the 2011–2031 period as baby boomers begin to turn 65. Ontario Population projection update, Spring 2010, based on the 2006 Census
The city of Ottawa is no stranger to this aging trend. The need to adapt to the population of seniors in Ottawa is increasing at a fast pace as a large and growing demographic of 100,870 people, or 12.4% in 2006, is projected to reach 230,922 and to make up 20.3% of the population by 2031. In addition, this population is increasingly characterized by diversity of religious beliefs, ethnocultural and linguistic identities and sexual orientations, all of which impact access to, and delivery of, services.
Fact Book on Aging: Seniors in Ottawa, The Council on Aging of Ottawa, 2009