Aging policy: a case study of co-ordination in Canadian governments
Kuper, Olivia B.
MetadataShow full item record
ABSTRACT Canada is an aging society. The number of people aged sixty-five and over is rising, while the number of people under twenty is declining. These two concurrent changes in the age structure have produced a sh~ft in the demographic composition of Canada which is commonly referred to as the aging phenomenon. Regardless of whether or not the number of people under twenty continues to decline, the number of elderly in Canada will almost double over the next twenty years. This rapidly growing elderly clientele will doubtless have an impact on Canadian governments. Federal, provincial and municipal governments are presently providing a variety of programs that have a special bearing on the aged and most senior citizens are beneficiaries of one or more of these programs. The ramifications of a rapidly growing elderly clientele are obvious. In order to cope with the impact of a significant increase in the number of elderly persons, the development and implementation of aging policy must be co-ordinated at each level of government and between and among levels of government. If aging policy is not co-ordinated, the results are likely to be: inappropriate policy decisions; duplication and overlap; and, ineffective and irresponsive services. No one benefits from these results. The need for co-ordination is apparent. The purpose of this thesis is to examine existing governmental efforts to co-ordinate policy in the field of aging. These efforts are examined by focusing on interactions directed at co-ordination between and among major actors in aging policy. A framework is used to structure the description and analysis of these interactions. The variables of formalisation and intensity and the concept of power are instrumental in analysing interactions for co-ordination. The underlying intent of this thesis is to discover some of the main gaps in existing governmental efforts to co~ordinate aging policy. Gaps are, in fact, discovered. Several explanations for the existence of gaps in interactions for co-ordination are discussed. A major hypothesis involving a relationship between a bureaucratic form of organisation and interactions for coordination is suggested. Finally, three recommendations for improving co-ordination in aging policy are offered.