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How Quebec adapts to aging


In an article published in "La Presse +", Alain Dubuc, economist, author and speaker, describes the challenges of the "Great adventure of aging in Quebec". For him, the speed of the aging process is a highlight of Quebec. It will take 33 years for the proportion of people aged 65+ to double from 12% to 24%. In Germany, this process, begun earlier, will take 60 years. In Canada as a whole, it will be 42 years. Although it is slower than the country where the process is the fastest, Japan, with 22 years.

Life expectancy at age 65 is increasing rapidly. That is, more and more years of life are left to a person who reaches the theoretical age of retirement. Since 2005, this life expectancy has already increased by two years for men and one and a half years for women. In 2016, it was 19.7 years for men, which means that on average they could expect to live up to 84.7 years, and 22.5 for women, so 87.5 years.

For Alain Dubuc, we must especially rejoice that, collectively, Quebeckers can enjoy a longer life. For this reason, the real challenge is that these more years are good years. The most important statistics are those that measure life expectancy in health. And the challenges, to make this possible, are the improvement of lifestyle, prevention, management of chronic diseases, and all the measures that support the autonomy of the elderly.

One of the important challenges is that of work. The number of Quebeckers who are reaching retirement age today exceeds that of working-age youth. This historic turnaround occurred in July 2013.

According to Alain Dubuc, this challenge can be addressed partly by immigration, partly by better integration of the excluded, such as welfare recipients, by developing skills. But the most promising way would be to better benefit those who are already there, keeping older workers at work.

Due to changing values, lifestyle, health progress, everything is shifting: the age of arrival at work, the age of having children, the age at which one considers oneself old . According to Alain Dubuc, we can see that people are reaching the theoretical age of retirement less worn out by life and work than their elders, that they are more active, with more projects and aspirations for the many years they have ahead.

Fifty years ago, for many people, retirement was the right to enjoy a well-deserved rest, which did not last long, after years of work that had exhausted them. Nowadays, the end of working life often comes early, when people are in top shape and they are still 30 years old. 




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