We’ve been hearing it for a long time now: Canada’s population is ageing.
According to Statistics Canada, Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1965) are beginning to reach the retirement age (65 years old). Recently released data from the 2016 Census reports that “from 2011 to 2016, Canada registered the largest increase in the proportion of seniors since Confederation.” And it’s not just baby boomers. The census also reports that centenarians (those over 100 years old) are another facet of the population that is quickly increasing. Since 2011, centenarians have increased by 41.3 percent. More people are getting older now than ever before, and life expectancy is increasing at the same time.
Here in BC, we’re slightly above the national average. The national average is 16.9% of seniors and BC is home to 18.3% of them – plus, we have the highest life expectancy in Canada. Vancouver Island has a higher proportion of seniors, in particular, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, and Sidney (all over, 40% with Qualicum Beach at the peak of 52.1%). The city of Victoria is also above the national average at 21.1%. The Okanagan also has higher rates with Kelowna at 21.4% and Osoyoos at 40.9%.
So, what does this mean? Baby boomers are the largest segment of the population, and almost one-fifth of BC residents are seniors. As these people retire, more jobs could open up. For another thing, more services and facilities for seniors will be in higher demand, particularly in healthcare. According to Statistics Canada, by 2031, almost a quarter of Canada’s population could be 65 years or older.
If you’re interested in a career in the rapidly growing healthcare industry, or if you want to work with the elderly (quickly becoming a huge segment of our population), working as a Health Care Assistant could be the perfect option for you.
Health Care Assistants provide care for clients in a variety of facilities, including long term care, acute care, and assisted living, as well as through home support agencies. They may assist clients with complex health challenges, as well as cognitive and/or mental health challenges. Further, a Health Care Assistant can bridge into the Practical Nursing Access program to potentially become a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Contact us today to learn more about this exciting (and growing) career path!