Aging in a changing world

gerontology-twins

Twins Joyce (left) and Jacqueline Robbins want fellow seniors to fulfill their bucket list.
Photograph by Dan Toulgoet, The Vancouver Courier

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nancy Carson
Level 2

In October, more than 750 people met in Vancouver.
These people study gerontology.
Gerontology is the study of old age.
These people talked about how people grow old.
They also talked about the problems of old people.

The topic of the meeting
Much has changed in our Canadian society.
People are living longer.
Tom Perls from Harvard Medical School says
more people are living for 100 years.
In Canada last year, 5,825 people were 100 years old.

How long do we live?
Perls says many children born today will live into their 90s.
And many will reach 100 years of age.
This is something very new.

How do we find out?
There are important questions.
For example, how long did your grandparents live?
Do you eat well? Do you exercise?
Perls made a website, www.livingto100.com.
You can answer questions on the website.
Then you can find out how long you might live.

Society must get ready
Canada needs a better way to care for seniors.
Canadians can learn from Denmark.
Denmark spends less money on health care.
This country has a good home care program.
Denmark hires many workers
to help seniors live longer in their homes.
This means seniors do not go to expensive
care homes so soon. This also means
seniors do not go into hospitals often.

Dream On
There are seniors who could not
make a dream come true when they were younger.
Nurse Next Door started a foundation five years ago.
A dying man had a wish.
He had not seen his son for 43 years.
Nurse Next Door paid his trip to Calgary.
He spent one day with his son.

The Dream On Seniors Wish Foundation
started in October 2012.
Seniors 65 and older can request a dream.
Or a family member, caregiver or friend
can make a wish for the senior.

seniors-walking-in-park

According to the 2011 census, there were 5,825 centenarians in Canada, representing the second fastest growing age group in the country.
Photograph by Ward Perrin , The Vancouver Sun

2 thoughts on “Aging in a changing world

  1. I agree with you. China is worried now because 30% of their population will be over 60 and there was the one-child policy, so one adult-child is going to be looking after two parents. B.C. and Canada need to adapt their homecare programs so people don’t block hospitals and expensive senior homes. Denmark has a model that many are studying closely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *