A Canadian Study for the Ages on Aging

“When I travel across the country and meet with seniors’ groups and soon-to-be seniors to talk about the CLSA, there is keen interest in this study. Some want to be a part of this massive study – which involves fairly extensive physical assessment for 30,000 of the participants every three years – because they want to learn some things about themselves. Others just feel that it’s important for society and future generations. They know the population is aging. They understand this presents opportunities and challenges and they want to be part of exploring those opportunities and challenges.

Today adults, in mid-life and older, are more physically active, enjoying quality of life and able to do things like travel well into their 80s. But at the same time, we anticipate a rise in age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. So we have two contrasting perceptions of aging. People recognize that they will be facing major life changes as they age and they want more information on how to adapt to those transitions and to the physical, psychological and social impacts they can have”.

To that end, while the CLSA closely monitors the physical, social, biological, psychological and economic factors that lead both to healthy and successful aging, and also to disease and disability as people age, the scope of the study extends to examining aging as a dynamic process.

CLSA participants are randomly selected from across Canada and, as such, Canadians are not able to proactively volunteer to be part of the study. Once enrolled, participants are contacted regularly to collect data over the 20-year course of the study.

Stay tuned for future updates on the CLSA.

Keywords: healthcare, seniors, demographics