ROUNDUP 2019 11 02 NEWS & VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

News Items

Senior Citizens Are Canada’s Fastest-Growing Weed-Using Demographic

The Future Co$t of Long-Term Care in Canada

Poll suggests plenty of Canadians voted strategically to stop a party from winning

Why So Many 55+ People Are Going Bankrupt and How to Bounce Back

Yogurt, fiber, and lung cancer: What’s the link?

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Senior Citizens Are Canada’s Fastest-Growing Weed-Using Demographic

An estimated 400,000 Canadian seniors used cannabis this year. That’s 10 times more than the number of baby boomers who toked up in 2012.

When Canada made the bold decision to legalize adult-use cannabis last year, critics argued that widespread legalization would increase teen pot use. One year into legalization, statistics have proved that these fears were unfounded.

One Canadian demographic is actually smoking way more weed than they did before legalization, however. Canadians aged 65 and older are the country’s fastest-growing demographic of cannabis consumers, according to new data from Statistics Canada, the country’s national statistics agency. Back in 2012, only one percent of all Canadian seniors (around 40,000 people) admitted to using weed. This year, estimates show that number has increased tenfold, to 400,000 seniors.

The report also found that many of these seniors are trying cannabis for the first time. “While 10 percent of cannabis consumers aged 25 to 44 were new users in the second and third quarters of 2019,” Statistics Canada wrote, “more than one-quarter [27 percent] of cannabis consumers aged 65 and older” tried pot for the first time over the last three months.

Although their numbers are growing, only a small percentage of seniors actually use cannabis. In the past three months, only 7 percent of those over 65 reported cannabis use, compared to 10 percent of Canadians aged 45 to 65. The popularity of weed seems to increase as age decreases, with 25 percent of people aged 25 to 44 and 26 percent of people aged 15 to 24 owning up to weed use.

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The Future Co$t of Long-Term Care in Canada

The Future Co$t of Long-Term Care in Canada is the second paper in the NIA’s Policy Series on The Future of Long-Term Care in Canada. The first report, Enabling the Future Provision of Long-Term Care in Canada, by Dr. Samir Sinha can be found at www.nia-ryerson.ca.

The objective of this paper is to better understand the challenges Canada faces over the next three decades in providing long-term care – both from a public cost perspective, and from the personal lens of older Canadians and their families – thereby promoting informed and targeted discussion on how best to move forward.

Key Findings

Between 2019 and 2050, our baseline projection indicates the cost of public care in nursing homes and private homes will more than triple, growing from $22 billion to $71 billion annually (in constant 2019 dollars). These costs will roughly double relative to the macro economy, increasing from 9% of personal income tax in 2019 to 19% by 2050, and from 2% to 4.3% of aggregate wages. (We have not projected GDP, so it is not possible to show these costs as a percentage of GDP).

But sizable increased costs for the public purse are only part of the picture. Pressure on unpaid care provided by families will also increase as the baby boomers get older and family sizes decline, largely due to reductions in Canadian fertility rates. Our baseline projection shows that, by 2050, there will be approximately 120% more older adults using home care support. Over this same period, our projections indicate there will be approximately 30% fewer close family members – namely, spouses and adult children – who would potentially be available to provide unpaid care.

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Poll suggests plenty of Canadians voted strategically to stop a party from winning

More than one-third of Canadians voted strategically in last week’s federal election to stop another party from winning, a new poll suggests.

Thirty-five per cent of respondents to the Leger poll said their decision about which party to support took into account the chance that their vote might prevent another party’s candidate from being victorious.

And almost as many waited until the final week of the campaign to make their choice.

Thirteen per cent made a decision during the last week, six per cent during the final weekend before the Monday vote — and another 10 per cent literally didn’t decide until the last minute on voting day.

Those results suggest a good number of voters waited to see which way the wind was blowing before casting their ballots, motivated at least in part by a desire to prevent the outcome they least wanted.

The online survey of 1,503 adult Canadians was conducted Oct. 22-24 for The Canadian Press and weighted to reflect the makeup of Canada’s population. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

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Why So Many 55+ People Are Going Bankrupt and How to Bounce Back

The number of people 55 and older filing bankruptcies has skyrocketed since 1991, and that’s even more true for those 65 and older.

Bankruptcy can offer a fresh start if you’ve fallen on tough times and are unable to pay your bills. Once you file bankruptcy, you’re no longer responsible for the debts that are discharged. But this fresh start comes with a price: your credit will be negatively affected for years.

According to a paper by Robert Lawless, a law professor at the University of Illinois, and three colleagues:

  • The percentage of Americans declaring bankruptcy age 55 to 64 has risen 66% from 1991 to 2016
  • The percentage declaring bankruptcy age 65 to 74 increased 204% from 1991 to 2016
  • Roughly 12% of bankruptcy filers are now 65 and older, up from about 2% in 1991

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Yogurt, fiber, and lung cancer: What’s the link?

A recent analysis investigated whether consuming dietary fiber and yogurt might be linked to a lower risk of lung cancer. Perhaps surprisingly, the team concludes that it is.

A recent paper in the journal JAMA Oncology looks for a relationship between diet and lung cancer.

In particular, the team focused on two foods: a prebiotic and a probiotic.

Prebiotics are compounds that support the growth of gut bacteria. Dietary fiber — which occurs in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts — is the primary prebiotic in our diets.

Probiotic foods contain microorganisms. One of the most common probiotic foods is yogurt.

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