Successful aging in Canadian seniors : implications for public health promotion and planning for an aging population
Master of Public Health
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Rowe and Kahn (1987)proposed that successful aging (SA) is the balance of three components; a) absence of disease and disease-related disability, b) high functional capacity, and c) active engagement with life. In contrast, others, most notably Strawbridge and colleagues, have advocated that successful aging is better calculated using subjective measures of psychological wellbeing. This study examined successful aging in Canadian adults 60 years of age and older, using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), cycle 2.1 (N = 14,749). The purpose of this study was to compare a Canadian representative sample to the Strawbridge and Rowe and Kahn models and further examine if the proportion of individuals classified as aging successfully is affected by important demographic covariates (i.e., province, age, sex, martial status). Results indicate that the greatest proportion of Canadians meet the requirements for active engagement with life (69.1 %) followed by functional capacity (66.6%) and the absence of disease (18.6%). These proportions decrease as the age of the participants increased. Data also indicate that 11.0% meet all criteria of SA; however, only 11.3% of Canadians fail to meet any of the criteria. Conversely, 91.5% of respondents identified being satisfied with their life and thus, met the Strawbridge criteria for successful aging. These findings provide valuable information for researchers and practitioners interested in age-specific interventions to improve an older individuals' likelihood of aging successfully.