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SeniorsHealth

Key findings:

  • Hamilton seniors are similar to provincial averages in many health areas.
  • Obesity among seniors trended up over the past decade.
  • Overall, Hamilton has a higher proportion of seniors with a family doctor than the province, but this is not true for all neighbourhoods.
  • Emergency Department visits are similar to the provincial average, but also shows neighbourhood variation.

HealthPerceived health and mental health

According to the Canadian Community Health Survey 2015-2016[1], 44.3% of Hamilton seniors reported having very good or excellent health, which is similar to the provincial seniors’ average (46.5%), but lower than the rate for Hamiltonians of all ages (57.6%).  The rate for Hamilton seniors is relatively unchanged since 2007-2008 (42.5%)[2].

Just over two-thirds (67.8%) of Hamilton seniors reported very good or excellent mental health in 2015-2016, which is similar to the Ontario average (69.9%), as well as Hamiltonians of all ages (70.0%).   In 2007-2008, the rate for Hamilton seniors was similar at 69%.

HealthPhysical activity and obesity

Obesity among Hamilton seniors has been trending up over the past decade:  32% in 2015-2016 compared to 22% in 2007-2008.  The Hamilton seniors’ obesity rate is slightly higher than 27.7% provincial average for seniors.

HealthSatisfaction and belonging

Almost 90% of Hamilton seniors reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their life, similar to the provincial seniors’ average of 89%, as well as Hamiltonians of all ages (92%).  

The percentage of Hamilton seniors who reported a strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging is trending up:  80% in 2015-2016 compared to 72% in 2007-2008.  This rate was similar to the provincial seniors’ average of 77%, and higher than the 73% for Hamiltonians of all ages.

HealthHealth care utilization

In 2015-2016, 97.3% of Hamilton seniors reported having a regular health care provider, higher than the provincial seniors’ average of 93.1%, and Hamiltonians of all ages (94%).  The rate for Hamilton seniors is similar to the rate in 2007-2008 when it was 98.5%.  The Hamilton Spectator’s Code Red 10 report found access to a health care provider varied across neighbourhoods:  they reported there were seven neighbourhoods in Hamilton where more than 10% of all ages reported that they did not have a family doctor, while in six out of seven Dundas neighbourhoods the rate was under 2%[3].

The rate of emergency department visits per 1,000 population for Hamilton seniors was 409, similar to the provincial average of 411.  However, similar to visits to health care providers, this rate varies widely by neighbourhood.  While the Spectator did not provide data for seniors only, rates of emergency department visits for all ages were 625/1,000 for the lower former City, 472/1,000 for the Hamilton Mountain, and 354/1,000 for the former suburban communities.  There were several neighbourhoods with rates above 1,000 per 1,000 population[4].

The rate of hospitalizations per 1,000 population for Hamilton seniors was 206, higher than the provincial average of 194.  As Code Red 10 noted, there has also been an increase over the past decade in the percentage of “urgent” admissions (all ages), and the lower city has much higher rates of urgent admissions than the suburban communities.

[1] Statistics Canada.  Table 13-10-0013-01.  Health characteristics, two-year period estimates.
[2] Statistics Canada.  Table 13-10-0452-01.  Health indicators, two year period estimates.
[3] Hamilton Spectator, Code Red 10.
[4] Hamilton Spectator, Code Red 10.

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