Seniors in seven municipalities across Canada believe while their quality of life is profoundly affected by policies at all levels of government, they have little input in the policy process.
This finding was carried in a synthesis report of seven studies that involved hundreds of seniors, seniors service providers and municipal staff across Canada. Lead author of the synthesis report was post-doctoral Fellow Toba Bryant of the York University Centre for Health Studies, Atkinson School of Health Policy and Management.
The studies took place in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Vancouver and Whitehorse. “Seniors told the researchers that municipal, provincial and federal governments are not giving serious consideration to seniors’ needs and are not listening to them to find out what they need,” said Bryant.
The issues identified as common across all studies – access to information, health care, housing, income security, safety and security, social contacts and networks, and transportation – were also seen as impacting the quality of life of not just seniors, but all Canadians. This was also the case for the issues that were raised in a majority of localities: ageism of society, having voices heard, promoting healthy lifestyles, and lack of political will by governments to address key issues.
Bryant says the report”s findings indicate that there is a gap between government rhetoric and recent government actions on seniors’ issues. “It concludes that governments are not giving appropriate attention to issues that address the determinants of Canadians’ health and well-being in general and older persons in particular.”
The report, “A Nation for All Ages? A Participatory Study of Canadian Seniors’ Quality of Life in Seven Municipalities” and the seven studies upon which it is based were funded by the Population Health Fund of Health Canada. To see the Media Relations account of the studies, go to: http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/release/archive/111302.htm. The full report is available at http://www.yorku.ca/ychs.