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Anthony Bechamp, a City of Hamilton employee in the traffic department, helps an elderly man cross a busy John Street South at Main Street East. - Scott Gardner,Hamilton Spectator file photo

Longer lives but often alone: A portrait of Hamilton’s 93,000 seniors

A Vital Signs update report on seniors in Hamilton shows a community increasing in numbers, but also living alone more than ever.

May 01, 2019

A statistical portrait of the 65-and-over population in Hamilton suggests a community that is rapidly growing and mostly living in their own single-detached homes, but also increasingly alone.

These are among the findings of a report released by the Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF) called "Seniors in Hamilton," the first update to last year's "Vital Signs" report.

The new report, which contrasts local demographic trends with national and provincial numbers, shows that among Hamilton's 93,000 seniors a higher proportion live alone (27 per cent) than the provincial average (24 per cent). 

Seniors in Hamilton report highlights

The overall seniors population in Hamilton has grown by 23 per cent in the last decade, and the fastest growing group within that population is men age 85 and over, which has increased 71 per cent.

Hamilton has a higher proportion of seniors who have a family doctor compared to the provincial average, but this varies by neighbourhood.

Nearly half of Hamilton's seniors were born outside Canada, and most of those in Europe; 9 per cent are visible minorities, lower than the city's overall 19 per cent figure.

The proportion of seniors in Hamilton born in Asian countries increased from 9 per cent to 14 per cent in the last 10 years.

Seniors in Hamilton event 

The report will be launched and its implications discussed at an event Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Great Room at AMICA Dundas, 50 Hatt St. in Dundas. It will feature panellists Jim Dunn and Anju Joshi from McMaster University's Department of Health, Aging and Society.

This is an excerpt from the Hamilton Spectator, read the full article.