Given that aging in their own communities is preferred by many older adults, it is important to support them in their communities. We defined the communities as ‘aging’, ‘aged’, and ‘super-aged’ communities using the 7%, 14%, and 21% of aged 65+ as points to indicate the pace of population aging, respectively. This study examines the trajectory of growth in older adult population at the community level and investigates the characteristics of communities with high density of older adults. This study uses the census data from the 1991 to 2016 by Statistics Canada and spatial data from the civic census by the City of Calgary. Using a Geographic Information System, we map out how the communities have been changed over the last 25 years and identify the communities where older adults are likely to live. The number of aging communities has grown and the growth in communities with high density of older adults has spread out in the entire city sprawling in a circle. Aging communities are characterized as smaller household size, lower levels of incomes, fewer immigration population, lower levels of education, and fewer people in the labor force. Findings have implications that older adults living in these communities might be more vulnerable and thus, public policy and social programs needs to consider that the intervention at the community level will increase older adults’ well-being. It is critical to ensure both physical and social environments are accessible for older adults and thus, leading healthy and independent lives in their communities.
Community Support, Public Policy, Social Program, Health
Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Dr. / Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Canada
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Calgary, Canada