CLIMATE CHANGE, OLDER ADULTS & IMMIGRANTS: EXPLORING COMMUNITY VULNERABILITY & RESILIENCECategory: 2019, CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grant Program, Climate, Current, Grant
Identifying the needs and capacity of immigrant and older adult populations is critical for informing Edmonton’s climate change adaptation strategies. By 2041, 32% of Edmonton’s population is projected to be older than 55 years of age. Immigration will also dramatically change the landscape of Edmonton’s senior population. Many older adults lack adequate retirement savings or pensions, which could lead to precarious housing situations and homelessness. Older women and immigrant seniors may be particularly vulnerable.
Vulnerable populations are a critical consideration when developing municipal climate change plans. With estimates of life expectancy continuing to increase, an aging baby-boom generation, and rising levels of immigration to large metropolitan centers, action must be taken to assure the well-being of older adult and immigrant populations. Evidence from this study will help to inform a wide variety of climate change and healthy aging initiatives to protect the well-being of Edmontonians (e.g., urban planning, infrastructure, household readiness, emergency services, transportation).
The purpose of this research is to generate critical local data about community-level climate change vulnerability and resilience that can be used to inform future short, medium and long-term planning activities, like resilience hubs, proposed by the City of Edmonton. With funding from the CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grant Program, this project will produce critical insights, foster connections, and generate knowledge regarding older adult and immigrant populations’ climate change vulnerability and resilience.
The objectives of the research are to:
1. Map and explore the relationship between community-level factors (environmental, demographics, socioeconomic status, social isolation, active living environment, health facility, senior and community service availability) and community health indicators (cardiovascular, respiratory, mental health, and musculoskeletal outcomes) using statistical modelling;
2. Explore in more depth the knowledge, attitudes, practices, perceptions, and resiliency of both older and immigrant populations using qualitative methods (Stakeholder Engagement Day and conversation circles).