Studying the IDEAL way to age

The Challenge 

The Insight into Determinants of Exceptional Aging and Longevity (IDEAL) Study, part of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), is interested in studying exceptional agers, people who stay mentally sharp and physically well into their 80s, 90s, and older. The National Institute on Aging asked Westat to develop and apply approaches to identifying and recruiting these individuals.

Our Solutions 

  • Westat recruits exceptionally healthy people 80 and older by targeting places where potential IDEAL agers are likely to be active, such as workplaces, churches, clubs, fitness centers, and neighborhoods.
  • Westat provides transportation to Harbor Hospital’s BLSA clinic in Baltimore for interested seniors to be screened, and for qualified IDEAL participants to attend the clinic yearly for physical and cognitive testing.
  • Because of Westat recruitment efforts to date, more than 860 telephone screening interviews, more than 200 home- or clinic-based screening examinations, and more than 60 enrollment examinations have been completed with potential IDEAL participants.

The Results 

  • IDEAL participants will provide data that will support BLSA in its goals of learning more about exceptional agers and improving quality of life for the elderly.

Our Client 

National Institutes of Health (NIH)