As a population, Canada is aging at a faster rate than we have ever seen before.
According to Statistics Canada, between 1981 and 2011, the number of Canadians increased significantly amongst these three age groups:
- For those aged 65 to 74, from 1.5 million (6% of the total population) to 2 million (8%)
- For those between 75 and 84, from 695,000 (2.8%) to 1.6 million (4.9%)
- For those aged 85 and older, from 196,000 (0.8%) to 492,000 (2%)
In Nova Scotia, Seniors (age 65 +) constitute 16.6% of the population; the highest proportion in Atlantic Canada.
Today, Canadians are living longer with fewer disabilities. At the same time, the majority of seniors have at least one chronic disease or condition. Providing ways to manage chronic disease is important to maintaining optimal health and quality of life. YMCA Forever Fit program, a group fitness class tailored for older adults, has been operating community centres and churches in Halifax and Dartmouth for more than two decades. The classes are based in several neighbourhoods, making it easy for seniors to access activity close to their homes. With up to 275 participants annually, the program helps seniors live longer, healthier lives by providing the venue to stay socially connected while increasing physical activity levels. Programs like Forever Fit are key to helping manage health care system pressures by offering regular activity that can delay or mitigate the effects of chronic disease. For more information about YMCA Forever Fit Program visit https://ymcahfx.ca/ymca-health-fitness/forever-fit/