NOVA SCOTIA SENIORS MUST HAVE A VOICE
Nova Scotia has one of the oldest populations in Canada and this segment of the population is getting significantly larger. This is a result of the baby boomer generation reaching their senior years. Today the oldest boomers are turning 70 and the youngest have just passed the age of 50.
Each month, over 1000 Nova Scotians turn 65 and by 2030 there will be close to 260,000 people aged 65 or older. In just 20 years seniors will make up a quarter (25%) of the population as compared to 18% today. These figures do not include seniors age 55 to 65 who are eligible to join our clubs and councils. When they are considered, the percentage of seniors in our communities is even greater.
It is well documented that younger people are moving out of the rural areas of our province and moving to cities to find work and to pursue recreation and social opportunities. As a result, the 55 plus population, which is already approaching 25% in rural parts of Nova Scotia, can be expected to increase to 35 to 40% or more within the next 20 years. This significant part of the population must have a voice in matters affecting them.
There are those who believe that older adults are a drain on society and who do not understand the significant contributions that seniors make in our communities. Besides paying their fair share of taxes, which the majority have done all of their working lives; most charities and non-profit organizations would not exist without older volunteers. Hundreds of young families rely on grandparents to provide unpaid childcare. Many older people look after other seniors without any additional financial support. Seniors as caregivers to family members or to others in their communities is common. In addition, seniors make up the largest voting cluster in the country. Securing the votes of seniors is a priority for all the major parties. Seniors are recruited to help get out the voters and to staff the polling stations.
Based on a life time of learning and a wealth of experiences, older adults have knowledge, skills, and experiences which they use to make a positive difference in our society and economy. Governments and businesses need to recognize this significant senior population when planning programs and making decisions affecting us. This demographic shift is an opportunity for them to take action that optimizes the advantage and resource of our older population in areas of social interaction, cultural activities, and economic development.
As an organization, the Federation of Seniors and Pensioners of Nova Scotia, is strategically positioned to represent and speak about important issues affecting older adults of all walks of life, not just special interest groups. To be that effective voice, it is essential that seniors throughout Nova Scotia let our organization know the issues and concerns most affecting them.
You can do this through your community clubs and councils or as individuals by joining the Federation and letting your voice be heard.