A NEW LOOK AT AGING- OVER 20 YEARS

by Audrey Miller on May 22, 2014

in Articles & Blogs by Audrey, Baby Boomers, Elder Care, Health Care

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Originally posted in allaboutestates.ca on May 22, 2014 by Audrey Miller

I had the pleasure of attending a meeting presented by the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) on their very impressive project. This is the largest and most comprehensive study in Canada and perhaps worldwide. 50,000 Canadians across the country between the ages of 45 to 85 years (at the age of recruitment) will be followed over the next 20 years. The study is collecting information on the “changing biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic aspects of people’s lives as they age. The goal is to find ways to improve the health of Canadians by better understanding the processes and dimensions of aging.”

The data will include physical and cognitive measurements (vision, hearing, bone density,cognitive assessment;, psychosocial factors (caregiving and care receiving, work-to –retirement transitions, wealth, social networks); health information (chronic disease and symptoms, pain, functional status – ADL); and lifestyle and sociodemographics (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, education, marital status). This is a huge undertaking and the information that will be available should be able to shape society. The research goals include:
– documenting the progression of health from middle age to early old and to older old age
-the determinants of wellbeing and quality of life
-social participation, social relationships and caregiving in an aging population
-examination of socioeconomic and health inequalities in an aging population
-retirement and post-retirement labour market activity
-cognitive functioning and mental health
-disability and the compression of morbidity.

Yes, it will take some time until data is available (to the research community in June 2014 and the data release for the 30, 000 participates who had home interviews and data collection, including blood samples is anticipated for Spring 2016). However it is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in a project that will influence policy and social directives as well as “improve the health and well-being of current and future generations of Canadians by enabling researchers to answer important questions on aging”. For more information please visit www.clsa-elcv.ca.

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