Seniors may be more vulnerable during heat waves. However, 73% of senior housing in collective settings is located in the middle of a heat island. “Living in a heat island is an added risk for seniors, because it poses a health risk, especially if you don’t have an air conditioner,” explains the co-author of the portrait produced by Public Health, Sophie Goudreau. The DRSP shows that 77% of for-profit seniors’ residences (RPA) are in the middle of a heat island, compared to 66% of low-income housing (HLM).

For seniors living in this type of housing, access to essential businesses such as the grocery store, pharmacy or even the bank can be difficult. More than half of collective living environments for seniors are located more than 500 m from these businesses. For the co-author of the portrait Marie-Chantal Gélinas, this limits the social participation of seniors, even though it is essential to their health and influences life expectancy. According to her, although practical, the presence of a business within some (RPA) only accentuates the isolation of seniors.

Elderly people often have locomotion problems, in addition to having lost the ability to drive. Unfortunately, almost half of the homes (42%) are more than 500 m from public transportation. “It’s really important to have this service to meet your basic needs, to be included in society and to be able to get around,” explains Sophie Goudreau. There comes a time when seniors lose their driving license and others have never driven […], so it is an essential service. » The absence of nearby public transportation also deteriorates the social participation of seniors.

These dwellings can sometimes be found close to a source of nuisance, where air pollution is greater. In total, 16% of homes are located within 300 m of a highway. “The fact of installing new residences in places close to [noise] pollution can have impacts on health,” explains Sophie Goudreau. They can even cause heart problems over time. » She recalls that environmental noise is now recognized by the World Health Organization as a nuisance that can have an impact on health.

The DRSP data highlights issues specific to for-profit RPAs. They turn out to be the least well located of the various collective living environments for seniors. Nearly half of them are more than 500 m from public transportation, and more than 60% are a significant distance from essential businesses. Among the different types of collective housing for seniors, for-profit RPAs are also the most numerous to be located in an area of ​​noise pollution and where air pollution is greater.