Risk factors – Vulnerable Populations

With the general risk factors in mind, the review of the literature turns to the specific factors associated with different groups of seniors. Nine groups are reviewed:

Although an individual senior may belong to more than one group, this review treats each group distinctly for the purpose of analytical clarity. In some cases, there is also overlap between a specific risk factor and a particular group of seniors (for instance, health challenges are a category of risk factors but seniors with health challenges can also be seen as a specific group of seniors). Elsewhere, certain categories of risk factors may cut across multiple groups (such as lack of access to resources like transportation, or the experience of widowhood). In effect, there are two different, yet overlapping, ways of looking at social isolation: one from the vantage point of risk factors, the other from the perspective of particular groups of seniors. The latter approach is important since it humanizes the experience of social isolation and tells the story from the perspective of real groups of people.

Seniors Vulnerability Report

This report produced by United Way of the Lower Mainland focuses on vulnerable seniors in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor. It recognizes multiple dimensions of vulnerability in order to grasp the situation of at-risk seniors and identify ways to improve their quality of life. Socio-demographic indicators are presented after this introduction, which is followed by a discussion of economic security issues affecting seniors. Mental and physical health matters negatively affecting seniors are explored next. The living arrangements and emotional well-being of seniors are discussed in the subsequent section, which is followed by a review of key housing facts and trends contributing to seniors’ vulnerability. Transportation, transit and issues of walkability for seniors constitutes the next section. The second last section focuses on physical mobility and related considerations for the built environment. Strategic directions for research, services/programs and policy pertaining to vulnerable seniors are described in the final section in an effort to advance the dialogue and action leading toward improved well being for all seniors in our region.