PoV: Sudbury needs to care for aging population

Caring for Sudbury’s aging population is a crisis that has unfolded in slow motion. Looking at the numbers, however, all that is going to change quickly.

In 2016, there were almost 13,000 people aged 75 years or older in Sudbury, representing 7.9 per cent of the city’s population. That number is expected to grow by 38.1 per cent in 10 years.

On average, two people a day will reach the age of 75 in Sudbury from now until 2036, according to figures released last week by the Ontario Long Term Care Association during a press conference.

The typical resident in long-term care is 85 years old and female. More than 97 per cent of them suffer from two or more chronic illnesses and more of them rely almost completely on staff for care.

The city has seven long-term care homes with a total of 1,325 beds. The waiting list for a spot in long-term care is 2,400. Half the long-term care residences in Sudbury need to be modernized, which means 548 seniors are living in homes that need to be redeveloped.

So not only does Sudbury need a lot more spaces, many of the ones it already has need to be fixed up.

Read the rest at the Sudbury Star.