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Vulnerable Seniors Report Launch

 

For the first time ever, there are more seniors living in Prescott-Russell than there are children and youth, and by 2026, the senior population is expected to almost double. On February 20, 2019, in collaboration with its community partners, United Way released a report entitled: A Profile of Vulnerable Seniors in the Counties of Prescott and Russell, Lanark County and Renfrew County. The report analyzes the state of vulnerable seniors in rural areas surrounding the National Capital Region and calls for a response that ensures our region’s social, health and community services can support those most in need.  

While most seniors are doing well, the report found that a significant portion in some communities could be considered “vulnerable” – often in multiple ways – which makes them more likely to experience social isolation and negative health outcomes.
 
In addition to providing a snapshot of vulnerable seniors, United Way made recommendations for organizations to work together across sectors to support the aging population. The recommendations include: investing in research, creating a vulnerability index, addressing the challenges facing caregivers and more.
 
“This report brings to light the particularity of what it means to be aging in a predominantly rural community,” said Agata Michalska, Regional Director, Centraide United Way Prescott-Russell. “As a local organization, Centraide United Way Prescott-Russell is proud to have been at the centre of this effort and we will continue in our convening role to support collective efforts resulting from the report. We are also pleased to announce that the members Prescott-Russell Successful Aging Advisory Committee have committed to meet regularly as an advisory group to provide leadership, direction and support to improve the well-being of seniors.”
 
At the report launch, community experts, policy leaders and advocates for seniors came together to discuss the report, vulnerability, diversity in the aging population, and how collaboration will lead to better outcomes for seniors.
 
“The Vulnerable Seniors Report confirms and provides further knowledge about issues we have seen in our agency as we work with seniors,” said Prescott Russell Community Services Executive Director, Ms. Sylvie Leclair. “The Advisory Committee that is convened by Centraide/United Way Prescott-Russell establishes an ongoing forum where member agencies can discuss the development of resources, partnerships, alliances, projects and initiatives within and across sectors to improve quality of life for our seniors.”
 
“We are pleased that Centraide/United Way Prescott-Russell was able to bring together community agencies to create the Prescott-Russell Successful Aging Advisory Committee which will continue to discuss and advocate for our ever-increasing seniors’ population and ensure that issues raised in the Vulnerable Seniors Report are considered and addressed, going forward,” stated Mr. Robert Kirby, Warden of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell
 
Some key findings from A Profile of Vulnerable Seniors in the Counties of Prescott and Russell, Lanark County and Renfrew County include:
 
  • The percentage of low-income seniors living in Prescott-Russell is 14.5% based on the 2016 census, with the biggest concentrations in the Township of Champlain, the Town of Hawkesbury and the Township of East Hawkesbury – a percentage higher than the provincial average.
  • Senior women are more at risk of vulnerability than men because of longer life expectancy, lower income during productive years, and higher possibility of family abuse or violence.
  • Faster and more frequent onset of disabilities such as dementia, combined with a rural context, puts seniors within limited reach to accessible lodgings, transportation services and access to specialized health services.