Publications and reports of the National Seniors Council
Since its inception, the National Seniors Council (NSC) has delivered reports containing recommendations to ministers on a range of issues, including:
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- Financial crimes and harms
- Social isolation
- Labour force participation
- Intergenerational relations
- Volunteering and active aging
- Low income among seniors
- Elder abuse
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many organizations and experts have published reports with advice on how to safeguard the health and well-being of seniors. To inform the Government of Canada’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council reviewed these reports and prepared advice on practical, high-impact, evidence based actions where the federal government could play a leadership role.
- Seniors Well-Being in Canada: Building on Lessons Learned from the Pandemic contains 22 short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations in support of seniors’ health and well-being within the full continuum of support and care. The Council based its advice on a review of over 40 national and international reports. It paid special attention to seniors in long-term care and congregate living homes.
- On June 3, 2021, the NSC Chairperson, Dr. Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, appeared before HUMA (the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.) As the meeting focused on HUMA’s study on the impact of COVID-19 on seniors, Dr. Dupuis-Blanchard presented key findings from the Council’s report.
Financial crimes and harms
Seniors have the right to age with dignity and free from financial abuse. To inform its advice to the federal government on ways to reduce financial crimes and harms against seniors, the NSC undertook engagement activities, in 2018-2019, to hear from seniors, those who provide services to seniors, experts and federal officials on ways to improve the financial security of Canadian seniors by protecting consumers and addressing crimes that target seniors.
- What we heard report: Financial crimes and harms against seniors (2019) summarizes the main themes that were raised at engagement events; introduces available data and research on the topic; and provides valuable information on the range of financial crimes and harms against seniors that are being perpetrated, as well as different interventions, resources, and initiatives to address these.
Canada’s population is aging rapidly as a growing proportion of baby boomers transitions into the senior years. In this context, the issue of social isolation—which has profound impacts on the health and well-being of seniors—is an increasingly important issue related to seniors and aging in Canada. From 2013 to 2017, the NSC led various engagement activities (regional and national roundtables, an online survey) and reviewed the literature to better understand social isolation and provide advice on ways to address and reduce it among seniors.
- Who’s at risk and what can be done about it? A review of the literature on the social isolation of different groups of seniors (2017) looks at what the literature says about how different groups of vulnerable seniors are affected by social isolation and identifies promising interventions to tackle social isolation and reconnect seniors to their communities.
- National Seniors Council – Report on the social isolation of seniors (2013-2014) provides a summary of the consultation findings, including the most commonly mentioned risks as well as protective factors, and highlights a selection of innovative and promising practices, and contains the NSC’s advice on the role that the Government of Canada could play to address the social isolation of seniors in Canada.
- Scoping review of the literature: Social isolation of seniors (2013-2014) assesses relevant literature to obtain a broader understanding of the phenomenon, including how social isolation affects seniors, and best practices and methods to prevent/reduce the social isolation of seniors in Canada.
Labour force participation
Governments and workforce experts agree that the labour force participation of older workers will be essential for Canada’s future economic prosperity. From 2011 to 2013, the NSC examined the issue, through regional and national roundtables, online surveys and meetings with key employers, to identify the barriers inhibiting the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors.
- Older workers at risk of withdrawing from the labour force or becoming unemployed: Employers’ views on how to retain and attract older workers (2013) proposes ways that the federal government can support employers in attracting, retaining and facilitating the full labour force participation of older workers, including sub-groups that may be at higher risk of withdrawing from the labour force or becoming unemployed.
- Report on the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations (2011) presents some of the key challenges and barriers that stand in the way of the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors and suggests options for federal action that may serve to break down these barriers.
- “What We Heard” report: Consultations on the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations (October 2010 to March 2011) summarizes the discussions and views of participants engaged through regional and national roundtables, individual consultative meetings and an online consultation on the topics of labour force participation of seniors and near seniors and intergenerational relations.
The demographic shift is changing the face of the Canadian population. It will not only impact the balance of different generational cohorts, but also magnify the importance of the way different generations interact with one another. Through various engagement activities (roundtables, individual meetings, online consultation) led in 2010 and 2011, the NSC explored new or existing strategies and policies that could foster optimal intergenerational understanding, goodwill, co-operation—and thus social cohesion—as the population ages.
- Report on the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations (2011) identifies some of the key challenges and barriers to positive intergenerational relations and suggests options for federal action that may serve to break down barriers and support the well-being of seniors.
- “What We Heard” report: Consultations on the labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations (October 2010 to March 2011) summarizes the discussions and views of participants engaged through regional roundtables, a national roundtable, individual consultative meetings and an online consultation on the topics of labour force participation of seniors and near seniors, and intergenerational relations.
Volunteering and active aging
Positive and active aging focuses on strengthening the recognition of seniors as valued members of society, while optimizing opportunities for seniors to remain healthy and independent, and be active participants in their communities. In 2010, the NSC engaged with Canadians through roundtables in different parts of the country to share good practices, learn more about positive and active aging and volunteering among seniors, and identify areas for possible federal government action.
- Report of the National Seniors Council on volunteering among seniors and positive and active aging (2010) highlights the many linkages between volunteerism and healthy aging and provides an overview of the 10 themes that emerged from the roundtable sessions and informed the NSC’s recommendations for federal consideration.
Low income among seniors
Overall, Canadian seniors, while not affluent, are financially secure; however, the issue of low income among seniors remains an important one to address. From 2007 to 2009, to better understand the complexity of the issue, the NSC examined the income, wealth and expenditure patterns of seniors and met with individuals and organizations working with seniors to discuss the experiences and challenges faced by low-income seniors in their communities.
- Report of the National Seniors Council on low income among seniors (2009) provides a description of the challenges faced by low-income seniors and the major factors that negatively affect the quality of their lives, and proposes areas where the federal government could consider action to improve the situation.
Momentum for action on elder abuse has been building within the federal government for years. Elder abuse is an issue that can affect any senior. However, some seniors may be at greater risk of experiencing some type of abuse. In 2007, the NSC led roundtables and consulted with Canadians to learn more about the issue; provide organizations with an opportunity to share good practices for raising awareness of, responding to and preventing elder abuse; and identify areas for possible federal government action.
- Report of the National Seniors Council on elder abuse (2007) provides an overview, based on what was heard through consultations, of the issue of elder abuse as well as key recommendations for federal consideration.
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