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By 2043, Atlantic provinces will have highest proportion of seniors over 85: census

Census data released today shows Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick could have the highest proportions of people aged 85 years and older in Canada in the next two decades.

The numbers say seniors over 85 could make up more than six per cent of the population in the three Atlantic provinces by 2043.

By comparison, Statistics Canada says seniors 85 and older currently make up 2.3 per cent of the entire Canadian population, though they represent one of the fastest-growing age groups in the country.

Health-care researchers like Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Sinai Health in Toronto, say Atlantic provinces should focus on helping seniors age in their communities rather than investing in long-term care beds.

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Sinha said in an interview that community members such as paramedics and postal workers can be trained to regularly check in on aging community members and ensure they’re safe and not lonely.

Grade 12 student Simone McDonald is one of just four school-aged youth in the town of McCallum, N.L., and she says she hopes to return to her town as a health-care worker after she completes nursing school.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 27, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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