Mac re­ceives fund­ing for ag­ing re­search

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Some like to say 65 is the new 55 — those who re­cently turned 64, per­haps — but the num­ber-crunch­ers at Sta­tis­tics Canada are not among these op­ti­mistic folks.

Sixty-five con­tin­ues to be the bar Stat­sCan uses to de­scribe how old the coun­try is be­com­ing. And by that mea­sure, Canada is get­ting old in a hurry.

The pro­por­tion of Cana­di­ans 65 and over is pro­jected to in­crease from a na­tional av­er­age of 16.9 per cent (Hamil­ton’s is higher at 17.9 per cent) to 23 per cent by 2031, or nearly one-in-four peo­ple.

More­over, 65-and-over adults out­num­ber those 14 and un­der for the first time in Cana­dian his­tory.

The im­pact of ag­ing on this bur­geon­ing pop­u­la­tion is at the heart of a na­tional study led by McMaster Univer­sity.

The univer­sity an­nounced Mon­day it re­ceived $417,500 from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as part of $1.7 mil­lion in grants across the coun­try, to sup­port 25 projects in the Cana­dian Lon­gi­tu­di­nal Study on Ag­ing, which is based at McMaster.

The fund­ing for Mac will sup­port six projects, among them, a study ex­plor­ing what im­pacts the abil­ity of older adults to drive ef­fec­tively. The project is led by Brenda Vrkl­jan, from its School of Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Sci­ence.

“To drive or not to drive?” asks a McMaster news re­lease, adding that the project will ex­plore the per­sonal and en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors af­fect­ing driv­ing mo­bil­ity for older Cana­di­ans.

Fund­ing for the na­tional study is dis­persed through the Cana­dian Institutes of Health Re­search.

The ag­ing study, launched in 2010, fo­cuses on ad­dress­ing ques­tions sur­round­ing the bi­o­log­i­cal, med­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, so­cial and eco­nomic as­pects of ag­ing and dis­abil­ity and dis­ease, as re­searchers col­lect data from more than 50,000 Cana­di­ans over a pe­riod of 20 years.

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