Enables older Canadians to remain independent, productive, and engaged members of our communities.
A NATIONAL SENIORS STRATEGY FOR CANADA
Given that the life expectancy of Canadians has almost doubled over the last century, our coming of age should be recognized as triumph rather than a disease. Older Canadians are now the fastest growing segment of our population with their numbers expected to double over the next two decades so that by then, one in four Canadians will be older than 65 years of age. This unprecedented demographic shift will present both challenges and opportunities.
Older Canadians are largely responsible for the overall growth and prosperity of our country and remain a vital part of our society. They represent our grandparents, our parents, our aunts and uncles, our brothers and sisters, our neighbours, and our friends. Canadians have significantly increased their life expectancy over the last century from 51 to now 81 years of age, with many more living most of their extra years in good health. Ensuring that older Canadians have opportunities to remain engaged, productive, and healthy members of our society is not only beneficial for them but good for our society as a whole.
Meeting the growing and evolving needs of our ageing population will require concerted coordination and effort between municipalities, provinces, with the federal government playing a key leadership role on this issue of significant national importance. Historically, our federal government has been able to play a key role as a standard-setter, catalyst and funder of important social change in areas like the delivery of health care. We believe that in a similar way our federal government can enable the meaningful change that will be needed to meet the needs of ageing Canadians.
The way we approach our coming of age will also require coordination and mobilization across government departments as well as between the private and public sectors. Indeed, many are now seeing the need for an integrated approach where the federal government could help keep us all moving in the right direction. As a result, many see that implementing a National Seniors Strategy could provide us exactly the focus and commitment we need to ensure Canada can become the best country to grow up and grow old in.