Aging, deprivation, and health: A "triple jeopardy" faced by the older population
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It is crucial to understand the factors that influence the health of Canada’s rapidly aging population. This thesis examines social and material deprivation among the older population in Canada, focusing on a case study of Kingston, Ontario, as well as the intersections between indicators of deprivation and health. A Canadian area-based deprivation index developed by Robert Pampalon was used to measure deprivation. Data were obtained from the Institut national de santé public de Quebec, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the Canadian Community Health Survey, and the Canadian Census. Firstly, these data were used to examine relationships between deprivation indicators, aging and health. The percentage of the population in fair or poor health increases with age, as does the likelihood that this group will experience one or more indicators of deprivation. Secondly, the spatial patterns of deprivation were compared to the areas where the older population is living in Kingston. Social deprivation is positively correlated with areas with a higher percentage of those 75 years of age or more, whereas material deprivation is negatively correlated with these areas. Collectively, these results indicate that the older population in Kingston is facing a triple jeopardy of declining health, declining resources, and living in areas that are socially deprived. This population seems to be asset-rich, in that they own their own homes, but cash-poor. Overall, these findings contribute to our understanding of aging and the burden of deprivation faced by the older population. In order to facilitate healthy aging, it is important to take into account the social and material environments where the older population resides as part of an effort to maximize the health and wellbeing of this vulnerable population.