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Seniors have COVID-19 health worries, young people more concerned about family stress: StatCan

Last Updated Apr 23, 2020 at 6:48 am PDT

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Summary

Statistics Canada says the magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic is having an unprecedented effect on all Canadians

Seniors are the most likely to worry about their health amid the pandemic, StatCan survey finds

The agency says younger Canadians are more likely to be concerned about the social effects of the pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It seems seniors are the most worried about COVID-19 in Canada, at least when it comes to physical and mental health.

According to Statistics Canada, six-in-10 seniors say they are very or extremely worried about their own health — much higher than younger demographics.

The results come from the agency’s latest COVID-19 release, which also finds seniors are the most concerned about maintaining social ties during the pandemic.

Statistics Canada points to census data that shows one-third of seniors who are over the age of 75 live alone, meaning they could be at a higher risk of social isolation.

“Because seniors are more likely to have a limited social network, lone seniors may be more at risk in the context of the pandemic,” the crowdsourcing report reads.

The agency says younger Canadians are more likely to be concerned about the social effects of the pandemic; they’re less focused on personal health worries, and more focused on stressors, “such as family stress from confinement or the possibility of civil unrest,” especially among teens and people in their early 20s.

“Specifically, participants aged 15 to 24 were more likely to report that they were very or extremely concerned about stress from confinement at home,” Statistics Canada finds, with 41 per cent of respondents in this age group saying so. They share the same concern with 40 per cent of people aged 35 to 44, who are more likely to have younger kids, the agency adds.

Youth are also the most likely to feel the economic pinch of the crisis. According to the survey, half of respondents aged 15 to 24 say the pandemic would likely have a “moderate” or “major” impact on their ability to earn a sustainable income.

Younger Canadians were also more likely to believe they’d lose their job or income because of the health crisis, which has hit economies hard over the past several weeks.

“Some concerns were shared by a majority of participants, regardless of age,” Statistics Canada notes. “For example, at least 80% of participants in all age groups reported being very or extremely anxious about overloading the health system. Similarly, the vast majority of participants reported that they were worried about vulnerable people’s health.”

The crowdsourcing results have also found young women are more likely to be concerned about violence at home.

Statistics Canada says the magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, and notes it’s “having a profound effect on the health, social and economic activities” of the people who live in this country.