Seniors A Growing Population

Prince George, BC, Canada / CKPG News
Seniors A Growing Population

It’s the Golden Age for the silver set. The latest numbers are out from StatsCan, looking at the 2016 census numbers around the country’s age. They show that, for the first time since Confederation, those aged 65 years and more have surpassed those aged 14 and under. Added to that, the population of those in the middle of that pack, ages 15 to 64, make up 66.5%, down two percent from the previous census in 2011. But Lola-Dawn Fennel with the Prince George Council of Seniors says turning 65 doesn’t instantly mean the need for care.
“I think tere’s a large part of the population that thinks ‘Yes, those over 65 need care.’ Well, only a small percentage of people over 65 are actually in residential care,” she says. “Many people over the age of 65 are very active if not still working and contributing to our economy and the country.”
But while they don’t need care, per se, there is still a lot that needs to happen to help seniors as they “contribute to the economy and the country.” The City of Prince George recognizes that and has incorporated seniors into every aspect of it planning. For example, there are incentives to developers to make the construction of a new property accessible; adding things like wider doorways and having he kitchen, bedroom and living rooms on one floor.
“The incentive part of it is a ten-year tax exemption on the municipal portion of taxes as well as, depending on which area you’re in, you’re also eligible for Development Cost Charge reduction, which is an up-front see that developers pay to finance infrastructure,” explains Hilary Morgan with the City’s Planning Department. “Those [reductions] range anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 per unit. So that gets reduced significantly if you’re eligible for this program.”
She adds, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing, creating more accessible units up front adds very little to the cost of construction.

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