Scientists Study Aging from a Cellular to a Social Level

The aging process is a mystery. Some people live into their nineties and remain in good physical and mental health. Others decline rapidly and pass away before the age of retirement. Now that Boomers are living longer across Canada and elsewhere, it's no wonder that science and government have joined forces to study aging from a cellular to a social level.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), one of the largest, and most comprehensive, long-term study on health and aging has been created to explore the aging phenomena. The study will cover fifty-thousand people between the ages of 45 and 85 over a 20-year period.

Lead principal investigator professor Parminder Raina of McMaster University told the Toronto Star: “We’re looking at the aging process from cell to society.” Raina added: “We want to understand how we can live longer, but with the quality of life that allows us to function properly and independently and stay in our homes as long as possible.”

The study intends to shed light on the needs and requirements of the aging baby boomer generation on subject areas such as the optimization of the workplace for older workers to the factors that are helping the baby boomers live longer.

The proportion of seniors has increased steadily. In 1960, seniors constituted 8% of the population and by 2009 comprised 14 per cent. According to projections, seniors will account for about 25% of the population by 2036.

As the population ages, many will age in place. Eventually, there will need to be increased space in assisted living and continuing care residences.