August 15th 2011: While CARP members feel they and their organization have significant political clout, affordable housing, sufficient doctors and nurses and available public transit are all challenges for members across the country.
The vast majority of members believe older Canadians are a significant political force in Canada and that CARP has been effective at moving the political agenda of this group forward.
Majorities of members feel their local governments are responsive to the needs of older Canadians and that they are welcome in the local political milieu.
Members are split on whether or not their towns are well designed for older Canadians, and the three areas where they need the most improvement are affordable housing, sufficient doctors and nurses and available transit. More than half of CARP members are within 15 minutes of their health care provider, which two thirds agree is well designed for the needs of older Canadians.
One third of members are extremely socially active, while about one tenth are socially isolated. The rest fall between these two poles. More than half of members know at least one shut-in or social isolate and a significant minority know “several” or “many”.
Very few members have heard of Ontario’s “Aging @ Home” program, and those aware of it don’t think it is that effective at its stated aim of keeping seniors out of institutions.
The vast majority of members agree with retesting senior drivers every two years, two thirds think a medical exam should be part of the process and just less than half think all Canadian drivers, regardless of age, should go through the same periodic testing. About one third of members don’t drive on highways, or try not to, while about one half don’t drive at night, or try not to.
The vast majority of members agree with, would be interested in enrolling in and think other provinces should invest in the concept of ‘virtual wards’, where discharged patients have a full suite of hospital-style services available at home.
The Conservative Party is preferred by one half of members, and the Liberals and the NDP continue to struggle for the rest.