Canadian seniors re-evaluating aging priorities in light of pandemic
New research from Home Instead shows seniors more committed to aging at home, more apprehensive about long-term care
TORONTO, March 16, 2021 /CNW/ - As we reach the one year mark of COVID-19 lockdowns, and as vaccine rollout ramps up, many are considering how life will be different post-pandemic. New research from Home Instead, Inc.1 confirms that Canadian seniors – the demographic hardest-hit by the pandemic – are re-evaluating what's important as they age.
Approximately two-thirds (69 per cent) of Canadian seniors surveyed say the pandemic has made them more committed to staying in their homes as they get older, and 68 per cent say the pandemic has made them apprehensive about living in a long-term care home. The Coronavirus' impact on the desire to age at home is even more prevalent in Canada than among U.S. seniors (69 per cent in Canada vs. 57 per cent in the U.S.), as are pandemic-induced concerns about long-term care homes (68 per cent in Canada vs. 56 per cent in the U.S.).
"The pandemic has been absolutely devastating for our senior populations, but if there's a silver lining, it's that we've been given an opportunity to reimagine how we care for seniors in the future," said Dr. Lakelyn Hogan, PhD, gerentologist and caregiver advocate for Home Instead. "As we rebuild, it's clear we need to work harder to provide safe, viable opportunities for seniors to age how they wish to age – where ever they call home."
|1 Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, fielded an online survey of 1,000 Canadian seniors aged 65 and older, including 495 ages 75 and older. The survey was fielded between February 9 and 16, 2021.|
According to Home Instead's research, the pandemic hasn't just changed how seniors plan to age, it's changed how they connect to the world around them. More than half (52 per cent) of Canadian seniors are more comfortable using technology since the start of the pandemic, and 35 per cent are more comfortable using technology to help with their care at home moving forward. This comfort with technology is critical for ensuring families and care providers can design care plans that enable a senior to age safely in the place they call home.
Technology is also critical to help ensure seniors stay connected to their loved ones. Just under half (46 per cent) of Canadian seniors are using video calling more or for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and of those using communications technology more frequently, 40 per cent are reporting deeper connections with their loved ones and 72 per cent of seniors say they'll continue to use technology to communicate after the pandemic is over.
"Isolation and loneliness are serious threats to seniors' mental and physical wellbeing, and will be long after the pandemic has ended." said Hogan. "Connecting with your senior loved ones regularly – whether virtually or in person – and spotting signs of loneliness early can increase the likelihood that a senior can continue to age safely at home longer."
Despite the challenges of the last year, the majority of Canadian seniors remain hopeful for the next 12 months (62 per cent).
For more information about how to keep your senior loved one safe at home during the pandemic and beyond, and to download a home safety checklist, visit homeinstead.ca.
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD
The Home Instead® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 80 million hours of care annually throughout Canada, United States and 13 other countries. Local Home Instead offices employ approximately 90,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer's care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.ca. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE Home Instead