Defining disability and its consequences for projecting human resource needs to support older Canadians 2006-2031
Janice Keefe, Mount Saint Vincent University
Patrick Charbonneau, Université de Montréal
Yann Décarie, Université de Sherbrooke and Université de Montréal
Projecting the human resources needed to care for older disabled Canadians is critical to plan for population aging. We analyze how these projections are affected by which activities are included in need for assistance. Results demonstrated that broader definitions of need did not result in more comprehensive projections of hours of support required. Two scenarios of determining need were used - Scenario One (S1) included personal care, everyday housework, meal preparation, and grocery shopping. Scenario Two (S2) added outside work, transportation and banking. Logistic regression parameters were applied to Statistics Canada LifePaths microsimulation model. Adding three activities to S1 resulted in 20-24% more older persons being defined as needing assistance, but a 10% reduction in hours of assistance needed. Three distinct groups were identified within S2. Definitions of disability and these distinct groups within are discussed as they pertain to projections of need and implications for policy.