Of course, how we treat all of our seniors is important.
Those who live in poverty are more susceptible to ill-health. A study from Atlantic Canada finds that those with money in communities can purchase better services than those in communities without.
Urban and rural areas age differently. As do communities dependent upon those with limited resources, like fishing communities.
Those with chronic diseases tend to be those without the education and information that can prevent controllable issues such as adult-onset diabetes, issues affected by the simple tactics such as diet, exercise and addiction controls.
This study is interesting, as Atlantic Canada is profoundly affected by migration, and aging populations, as well as access to services.
This research is part of a larger project entitled Aging Across Canada: Comparing Service-Rich and Service-Poor Communities, in which key informants from communities across Canada were interviewed about how and why communities are aging differently, and what factors distinguish a service-rich and healthy community from one that is not.
Canadian Health Care is being driven by a movement to allow seniors to age at home, since world-wide we are facing an increasingly aging population. Unfortunately, those who are least able to help themselves (the poor, uneducated, those with chronic diseases unable through transportation to access services) will suffer the most.
The analysis produced 10 distinct clusters:
- Major metropolitan centres, high immigration, above average income, high social deprivation, better than average community health
- Large cities, high income, moderate immigration, low social deprivation, good community health
- Medium-size cities, average income, social deprivation, community health
- Semi-rural regions, above average income, low social deprivation, good community health
- Semi-rural regions, average income, low social deprivation, good community health
- Semi-rural, low income, high social deprivation, below average community health
- Northern Prairies, low income, high aboriginal population, high social deprivation, poor community health
- Northern semi-urban, above average income, moderate aboriginal population, low social deprivation, average community health
- Northern urban, high income, low social deprivation, below average community health
- Northern rural, low income, high aboriginal population, high social deprivation, poor community health
Jamie Davenport, Thomas A. Rathwell and Mark W. Rosenberg