A place to grow old: past experience and present circumstance as motivation for seniors to migrate or to age-in-place

Nearly 25 percent of Canadians will be 65 or older by 2036. With increasing age, most seniors face the difficult decision of where to live. Jennifer Harvey is studying how seniors’ sense of place, emotional ties and experiences in a community influence their decision to move to a new location or to stay in the same place. She is also studying how support networks differ for seniors who stay in place and those who move. Jennifer is examining the experiences of seniors in two small B.C. communities: Parksville, where almost 31 percent of the population were seniors in 2001, and Qualicum Beach, where 38 percent were seniors. These figures are significantly higher than the provincial average of approximately 13 percent. Results from the research could be used to forecast migration patterns among seniors and improve housing, health and social service policies in communities with aging populations.