Loneliness and isolation: Side effects of inflation on older Canadians

Loneliness and isolation: Side effects of inflation on older Canadians

Jeraj. We found stuff like that to do. We are constantly looking for things that are not too expensive.”,”text”:”I joined a group of older cyclists instead. I bike with them twice a week and it costs nothing, Mr. Jeraj testifies. We found stuff like that to do. We are constantly looking for things that are not very expensive.”}}”>Instead, I joined a group of older bikers. I bike with them twice a week and it costs nothing, Mr. Jeraj testifies. We found stuff like that to do. We are constantly looking for things that are not very expensive.

Like all Canadians, seniors are forced to make difficult choices as they cut back on luxuries and extras in the face of high rates of inflation.

However, seniors also struggle with a unique issue that is less talked about: increased social isolation, which experts say often occurs when inflation rises significantly.

The consumer price index stood at 7.6% in July from a year earlier. This is a decrease of 0.5 percentage point compared to last June, Statistics Canada said.

Photo: Canadian Press/Nathan Denette

According to Statistics Canada, 27.9% of older Canadians lived alone in 2017-2018, compared to 14.0% of the general population.

Physicians recognize that maintaining relationships and social activities plays an important role in maintaining the mental and physical health of this segment of the population. The isolation of older adults is related to greater emotional distress, prevalence of depression, higher number of falls, use of health and support services, and premature death.

Getting around costs money, even if it’s just meeting friends for coffee, driving to a church service, or taking the bus to a fitness class.

People do not believe that social isolation is related to inflationary costs. We immediately think that people will not be able to buy food, housing, take their medicinessays Laura Tamblyn Watts, president and CEO of CanAge, a national senior advocacy organization. But you have to be connected in some way, and there are costs associated with that connection.

its a big problem

From the names of Canadian pensioners living with fixed pensions or dependent on government benefits, tell them that the Canada Pension Regime which, with annual adjustments in January dernier to keep track of inflation, has not been ratified by the recent vertiginous augmentations of the country. life.

Seniors are also concerned about their investment portfolios as inflation weighs on the stock market. For those who have staked their home equity to support their retirement, rising interest rates and their effect on the housing market are a real concern.

: Your investments or your pension haven’t gone up, your government benefits might go up eventually, but right now they’re waiting in limbo, and the prices of everything have gone up”,”text”:”A lot of older people to watch are in this crisis: your investments or your pension have not increased, your government benefits could possibly increase, but right now they are waiting in limbo, and the prices of everything have increased”}}”>Many of the older people we see are in this crisis: their investments or pensions haven’t gone up, their government benefits could possibly go up, but right now they’re waiting in limbo, and the prices of everything have gone up.says Larry Mathieson, executive director of the Kerby Center, a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to seniors in Calgary and Medicine Hat. Its a big problem.

Go back to work to leave home

For Dorothy Bagan, who lives alone in her Calgary home, the crisis is already being felt. She canceled her cell phone service, downgraded her cable TV plan and sticks to a carefully selected list when she shops.

She also does not have a car, and although she is an avid user of public transportation and a community volunteer, her social life suffers.

years, explains Mrs.Bagan. And of my two close friends, only one still drives, so seeing each other has been quite a challenge.”,”text”:”My circle of friends has shrunk, and for an obvious reason. I am 74 years old, explains Mrs. Bagan. And of my two close friends, only one still drives, so seeing each other was quite a challenge.”}}”>My circle of friends has shrunk, for an obvious reason. I am 74 years old, explains Mrs. Bagan. And of my two close friends, only one still drives, so seeing each other was quite a challenge.

In fact, Ms. Bagan says that she recently made the decision to go back to work part-time, not because of the money, although that is a perk, but because she has to leave home.

I like to relate and interact with people. I like to be outside and be a part of things, she says. I am always helpful. Being an older person does not mean that you have nothing to contribute.

pay to communicate

Social isolation is one of the side effects of inflation, according to Tamblyn Watts. If seniors can’t afford internet access, they can’t connect with their family on Zoom or FaceTime. If they can’t afford hearing aids or glasses, it’s harder for them to interact with the world. And if younger generations are busy working overtime to meet the rising cost of living, they’re less likely to be able to care for their moms and dads or make time to visit a large parent in a retirement home.

There will be more people living alone at home, without support and alone. »

a quote from Laura Tamblyn Watts, President and CEO of CanAge

For his part, Mr. Jeraj considers himself lucky. He is married, he still drives. He and his wife have made a conscious effort to stay active and connected through economic activities like taking long walks and entertaining friends at home.

He knows, however, that many of his peers are not so lucky.

I have parents who live alone and for them the price increase is a big problem. Even mobility is complicated, since they cannot drive due to their age and state of healthregrets Mr. Jeraj.

Social isolation is a major problem. It affects them mentallyconcludes.

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