Taking the long view on aging in Canada
We all look forward to aging in good health. By the time 2025 rolls around, it’s estimated that one in every five Canadians will be aged 65 or over—"senior" citizens hoping to lead active and independent lives in their communities.
Some people age in a healthy fashion despite many physical health challenges, while others who are in good physical health age less well. What explains this phenomenon?
Dr. Parminder Raina, Canada Research Chair in Geroscience, is leading the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) which aims to answer this and many other questions about aging. The study brings together the capacity, knowledge and expertise of experts in the physical, psychological and social health fields to unlock some of the greatest mysteries of aging that have the most impact on the health of Canadians.
The CLSA is a large, national, long-term study following approximately 50,000 Canadian men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 for at least 20 years. It aims to collect information on the changing biological, medical, psychological, social and economic aspects of their lives.
Raina and other researchers are studying these factors, both individually and in combination, to understand how they have an impact on maintaining health and on the development of disease and disability as people age. This information will help identify ways to prevent disease and improve health services, and will facilitate the rapid adoption of extensive research into health practice, programs and policies.
Raina’s research will result in a strengthened and more responsive health system that will improve the quality of life of all Canadians.