A detailed portrait of our elders | VIVA MÉDIA Skip to main content

According to the report Bien vieillir au Québec, prepared for the Quebec Observatory of Inequalities and unveiled on Thursday, December 3rd , it is important to understand the specific needs of seniors and the diversity of their backgrounds, both for economic issues and problems which relate more to the living environment or well-being.

For the past few months, the living conditions of seniors have been in the headlines in Quebec, the difficult situation we are currently experiencing will have revealed even more worrying aspects, according to the report. Indeed, it is revealed that the effects of the pandemic have been particularly high for the elderly. This report is part of a collective reflection and the Quebec Observatory of Inequalities considers it essential that it must continue beyond the current situation. In preparing this report, the Observatory researchers identified nearly 250 articles and books in more than forty databases. Separated into three main themes (economy, living environment and well-being), this publication aims to make evidence-based data accessible in order to encourage innovation and to offer solutions to public decision-makers to improve the quality of life for seniors.

A worrying portrait of aging in Quebec

Designed on the basis of the most up-to-date scientific evidence, this comprehensive portrait of aging in Quebec and its issues documents, in particular, significant inequalities in income and wealth between seniors. Among the main findings in this report, aging would benefit from being understood based on the specific needs of seniors and the diversity of their backgrounds, both for economic issues and problems that relate more to the living environment or to their well-being. In order to reduce inequalities among seniors, more concerted action must be taken to enable this group to remain active in society, to remain independent and to emerge from isolation.

Highlights – Portrait of 65 years old and over

The number of people aged 65 and over will increase from 1.7 million in 2020 to 2.6 million in 2050. The income of seniors with a university degree is about twice that of those without a diploma or only with a high school diploma.

20% of the richest senior households hold nearly two-thirds of all the wealth held by senior households.

Among seniors aged 70 and over who work, 25% do so out of necessity.

40% of senior households have debts, an increasing trend in Quebec and Canada.

Among people in the least advantaged quintile – the lowest 20% in terms of income – men live on average 6 years less in good health than the most advantaged quintile and women, 5 years less.

More than a third of Quebec men aged 75 and over say they have no close friends. “It is essential to keep in mind all the variables of aging in order to act better on persistent inequalities, or to prevent them: an inequality often has implications in several other spheres of the life of the person who bears the cost, and this, at all stages of their life, underlines Elmer van der Vlugt, researcher at the Quebec Observatory of Inequalities. To make our society truly multigenerational, we must take these elements into account and act permanently on support: Home support, of course, but also support in the community and support in society.»

Steve Sauvé


Leave a Reply