Getting Ready for the Wave of Aging Population

The Baby Boom after World War II is one of the important factors of the aging population in Canada. Burlington is one of the fastest population growing cities in Ontario that includes a large population of seniors that require proper services for their needs. The high-quality living environment attracts a large number of young and middle-aged people who are in the middle of their prosperous careers.  The increase in middle-age residents has an even more positive impact on the social environment than the Baby Boom as it will be great for Burlington’s economic development. However, as this employed population is entering old age and retirement, the aging problem may come more rapidly.

In recent years, many new residents who moved to Burlington to purchase their own homes are mostly people from the age range of 30 to 40. These residents will enter the quasi-retirement age in 20-30 years. With the increase in the age of these new residents, the requirements for employment, social services, and municipal facilities in the city will be different from the current requirements today. These changes need to be reflected in the city’s long-term development plan in a timely manner.

For example, the current shortage of retirement apartments and nursing homes is an issue. At the same time, these institutions need to have matching medical personnel and ambulance services. The insufficiency of these facilities and personnel will cause the elderly to have long waiting period for the   old-age care facilities, which will directly affect the quality of life of the whole Burlington population. In addition, the convenience of medical treatment involves the design of public transit routes, schedules, connections, and humanized design of stations near hospitals.

The quality of retirement life is not only reflected in the old-age care institutions and medical care convenience, it must also be reflected in the care for the elderly’s social and cultural life. The city planning for the amenities, facilities, community parks, and activities that are oriented towards retirement, should make appropriate adjustments.

There are several high schools that are being closed in Burlington. This is an obvious signal that the age structure of our population in some communities is not balanced. In order to deal with the wave of retirement that will occur in 20-30 years, the City Council must pay more attention to this factor when making decisions to the city and regional long-term development plan. Once I am elected as a City and Regional Councillor, I will promote the proposal for a phased development that combines short, middle, and long-term goals that will help get Burlington ready for the upcoming challenges of the demographic structure changes.