According to Health Canada, it's ok to use the terms, 'seniors,'
'older persons' or 'older adults', if you need to indicate the age
Avoid such terms as "'the aged,' 'the elderly,' 'oldsters,'...".
The following list is from the "over 85" point of view and is a
summary taken from some of the links which I've placed below it. It
is interesting to note that the fastest growing segment of the
population is the over 75 year olds - those over 85 have increased by
40% in the last ten years.
Eyesight suffers (signage, t.v., monitors, glossy paper, books).
It is harder to hear (radio, t.v., telephone, conversation).
Agility decreases (dressing, cooking, opening packages, writing).
More likely to have diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, arthritis,
heart disease, digestive disorders, hypertension and cancer.
More likely to be hospitalized due to a fall.
More likely to have dental problems.
All have lived past 'life expectancy'
Take more medication.
Mortality rate for Parkinson's disease increases.
Degenerative diseases continue to take their toll.
Use more appliances (walkers, wheelchairs, etc)
Men are more likely to commit suicide.
Higher rate of dementia.
Less "diplomatic", more likely to "speak their minds".
Special food needs arise as seniors grow older.
More swallowing difficulties.
Need tastier food in smaller portions.
Need more nutritional supplements.
Spend less on food.
"Eat out" less.
More live in health care institutions.
Fewer live alone.
Fewer live with spouse or partner.
Fewer live with children.
Less able to navigate stairs.
More women than men.
Women are widows, men are married.
Need more help with many daily activities.
More dependence on others for social activities.
More friends and relatives are deceased.
Less interest in luxuries.
More likely to have a physical disability, the severity increases with age.
More start dropping out of view on the streets of their communities.
Fewer hours of sleep.
Fewer drive cars.
Lower literacy skills.
More likely to be unilingual in a minority language.
Less able to take care of own financial affairs.
- "There were 287,480 seniors aged 65 and over who lived in health
care institutions in 2001; they represent 9.2% of senior women and
4.9% of senior men."
- "Living in health care institutions is most common for the oldest
seniors, those aged 85 and over. However, for this group of seniors,
the proportion of men in these facilities dropped from 29% in 1981 to
23% in 2001, and the decline for women was from 41% in 1981 to 35% in
- Living arrangements of seniors aged 65 and over by sex and age group, 2001
- Older seniors are more often hospitalized due to falls.
- Senior men over 85 years have the highest suicide rate of all age
and sex groups and the rate has increased.
- Researchers estimate that 8% of people over 65 have diabetes
mellitus, while that number increases to 25% for those over 85
(Williams, p. 437).
- Alzheimer Disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia in Canada,
affecting 3-11% of the general population over 60 years of age, and
more than 35% of those over 80 years of age.
- From age 70, the average mortality rate for Parkinson's disease
increased: the greatest increase occurred in the 85+ age group:
- 57% of Canadians over 65 and 70% of Canadians over 85 are women.
- Sensory change
- Visual acuity
- Hearing acuity
- Agility and mobility
- Social/emotional changes
- Physical changes
- Low literacy skills
- May be literate in their mother tongue [but not the language used locally]
- lower income
- The gender gap widens as age advances.
- Elderly women will almost certainly be widowed, while most men will
remain married until they die.
- Two thirds of widowed elderly people live alone.
- More than 90% of seniors are living in the community rather than in institutions.
- About 60% of seniors have less than high school education.
- About 80% to 85% of seniors have dental problems or medical conditions.
- Both incidence and severity of disability increase with age.
- Special food needs arise as seniors grow older, especially for those
with medical conditions and compromised mobility.
- Taste is an important consideration in food for the elderly adult.
- Over half of seniors aged 74-84 have difficulty with one or more of
the activities of daily living, as do three-quarters of the over 85
- 6 percent to 8 percent of people over age 65 have dementia and 1/3
of those over 85 have some dementia symptoms.
Additional Links of Interest:
Stereotypes about aging seriously harm seniors:
Nova Scotia has oldest population, fewest over 85 in nursing homes
"x % of elders use the Internet versus x % of 'seniors' 65 - 85"
Internet Use by Age (65+ is as high as they go):
"x % of elders drive own car versus x % of 'seniors' 65- 85"
Percent of Persons Who Have Driven a Car in the Last Month, by Age, KY, 2000:
"A majority of the sample reports recent driving experiences. However,
this declines to nearly two thirds of the sample of persons aged 75
"On the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for
drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25
through 69 years old."
Table 1: Living arrangements for females aged 85 and over, Canada and
Table 2: Living arrangements for males aged 85 and over, Canada and provinces, 2001
Chart 3: Proportion of seniors aged 85 and over in health care
institutions highest in Quebec and Alberta in 2001
Canadian Institute of Health Statistics:
"Growing Old in Canada" by Eric Moore and Mark Rosenberg.
"A Portrait of Seniors in Canada" 3rd ed. by Colin Lindsay.
Selected Highlights from "A Portrait of Seniors in Canada" 2nd ed.
I hope this is what you were looking for - if not, or if you have any
questions, please let me know.
Thank you - good to hear from you again, B,
Google Search Terms Used:
"over 85" seniors activities
"over 85" seniors
lifestyle "over 85" seniors
lifestyle "over 85"
Mostly searched my way through StatsCan and Health Canada, using
various terms, such as, "housing elderly", "nutrition elderly",
"senior housing", "85+" etc.