EDITORIAL: Study is critical for aging society

Victoria's Gorge Road Hospital part of national study on aging

Relatively safe and without the winter deep-freeze of the rest of Canada, Greater Victoria has long been a haven for retirees and senior citizens.

Census data released last year confirmed the numbers are holding strong among those reaching their golden years – more than a quarter of the region’s residents are 65 and older.

On the heels of those already considered seniors, the expected large number of baby boomers entering retirement age is a phenomenon being referred to as the “grey wave” or “grey tsunami.” It will have deep ramifications on our health care and public pension systems, and on society as a whole.

So it makes sense Victoria was chosen as a data collection site for a nationwide study on aging, a study as ambitious, vast and deep as any research project ever contemplated in Canada.

More than a decade in the making, the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging plans to track the health and lives of 50,000 people across Canada aged 45 to 85, for 20 years, or as long as possible.

Victoria’s participation in the study is expected to be about 3,000 people over the first three-year cycle. At that point, the interviews and testing will begin again, ideally with as many of the same people as they started with.

The objective of the study is to allow researchers to fundamentally connect the dots between lifestyle, personal finances, diet, environment and genetics, and overall health.

We have a greater proportion of people reaching traditional retirement age, and in general, people are living longer. As a society we have an obligation to figure out how to age well, and do so without bankrupting the health-care system.

This study probably should have been done 20 years ago.

So far, about 330 people the region have signed up to participate and thousands more will be randomly called to volunteer in the study.

The data collection process can be lengthy and feel somewhat intrusive measured against what people normally tell strangers.

But those who answer the call to volunteer their medical and personal information know they are helping future generations answer important questions about how to improve the quality of life of all Canadians.

Just Posted

Celebration of Life hosted for 29 Victoria trees set to be removed

Community Trees Matter Network hosting “goodbye and thank you” for trees on Fort Street

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Saanich councillor raises the possibility of charging for plugging in electric vehicles

Coun. Colin Plant said funds raised could help build EV infrastructure

Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit returns to Royal BC Museum

Exhibit will feature award-winning photographers from around the world

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Support pours in for Vancouver Island couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Most Read