Paid Research for Seniors
“Getting old is not for the faint of heart”. Often times, after senior citizens retire, they transition to a fixed income. However, with the ever increasing cost of gas and groceries, and inflation on the rise, it is not unheard for those in the geriatric population to seek paid research opportunities for seniors.
But what kind of research is available to seniors? Believe it or not, there are quite a large number of research study opportunities for seniors. The process of aging (or delaying the aging process) is of great interest to the scientific community as well as future generations.
Where to start with Paid Research?
So where should senior citizens begin looking for a paid research study?
It depends whether you are looking for clinical type like studies or if you are interested in market research studies. First is health oriented, the second is very much consumer oriented.
If you are interested in a consumer products and earning up to $150 per study, check out the best paid online focus groups.
Interested in medical research studies? Then, one of the best sites for older adults to find paid research trials is Center Watch. There were over 1600 live clinical trials on aging as of the time of this article.
These clinical trials are often looking for patient’s who have Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, brain health or dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and many more. But they also look for healthy volunteers as well.
If you are 65 or older, but do not have any major health issues, you could also be a good candidate for these paid searches because they need to compare new drugs on healthy adults as well as affected patients with certain medical conditions.
The government is also a good place to start a search for paid research studies. The National Institute of Health (NIH) is home to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The NIA had many studies ongoing on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and new treatments for mild cognitive impairment.
Another great company to start searching for geriatric type studies is Worldwide Clinical Trials. They had 5 healthy studies, 4 elderly studies, and 3 studies on alzheimer’s disease at the time of this article alone.
What is the process for partaking in paid research
If a senior citizen finds a paid clinical trial that they would like to participate in, they can start by filling out their personal information on one of the clinical research study sites. If they fit the criteria, they will then generally be brought in for a general health screening.
Once deemed healthy enough to participate in the clinical trial, they will then be given the informed consent. Informed consent is the portion of a clinical study where the participants are educated as to how the study will be run, and any potential benefits or risks.
If the volunteer agrees to continue, they they sign the informed consent form and the study begins. Following the clinical study, the participants are then paid for their involvement in the study.
How much can seniors make for paid research studies?
The amount that an older adult can be paid for their participation is a research study can vary. It depends on how invasive the study is, and how far along the clinical trials are in the research process.
Most clinical trials pay anywhere from $50 to $500 per day. However, the financial compensation can be much larger if the clinical trial is in Phase 1. A Phase 1 study means that it is a much riskier study and it is still early in the testing stages of the clinical trial.
New clinical trials just getting started testing innovative treatments could pay out as much as $1500 to $4500 for a 2-3 day study.
What questions should seniors ask regarding research studies?
When volunteering for a research study, seniors should consider both the benefits and the potential risks of a study. Getting paid anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars is a nice perk, but some clinical studies could be hazardous to one’s health.
Older adults should also ask what the motivations and expectations are for the clinical research. Single research studies very rarely provide an intervention that can cure a complex disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, but it may provide relief to one symptom.
It is always good to be clear on the “Why” behind a clinical research study. At the end of the day, it is still your health that is involved when you test any new drug or treatment.
Volunteers should also inquire as to whether or not there is a placebo. A placebo is a “sham” or fake treatment that is tested by the researchers on some of the participants. They key to a good clinical trial is that the participants do not know if they are getting the real treatment or drug, or the placebo.
This is an important aspect of the study because researchers need to know if what they are testing actually works, or if the patients simply think it works.
Time commitment and location are other important pieces of information for patients to know. Some studies are held at clinics, some are held at a hospital or doctor’s office, and some are even held at a local university.
Depending on which city or town you live in, it may or may not be worth participating in depending on traffic, facilities, and safety of the area.
How safe are paid clinical trials for seniors
There are a lot of factors to consider with regards to an aging adult that are not considered in a younger population. Age, medications, and other sensitive medical information such as other symptoms or diseases are all important considerations for most trials.
Luckily there is a process that these trials go through in order to be considered as safe for the general public. Safety of the public is always a top priority which is why all trails must be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (or IRB).
The IRB is made up of mostly doctors, scientists, and average, everyday people whose job is to make sure that the seniors participating in the clinical trials are not introduced to any unnecessary risks.
IRBs review studies regularly as well as their results. They make sure that any risk (or potential harm) to the study volunteers is as low as possible. Due to this difficult review process, the studies can all be considered relatively safe.
Our summary on paid clinical trials for seniors
Overall, paid clinical trials seeking answers to new medications and treatments that may help future generations with certain diseases and symptoms are relatively safe. A trial medicine may have side effects, but the IRB process makes sure the risks are minimal and do not outweigh the benefits to potentially advance medicine.
The payout if you were to participate in a research study can be very rewarding. Not only will you be paid a pretty handsome amount (trial and phase dependent) you may be helping a university or a group of physicians develop procedures or a cutting edge drug that can help future generations.
Participating in a paid research study is just one example of the many side hustles and side gigs seniors can consider when trying to make a little extra side cash. If you are a senior citizen and have participated in a research study we would love to hear your story.
Tell us all about your experience in the comments section. For more information on other money making opportunities for seniors sign up to Stan’s Gigs Newsletter here. And don’t forget to check out more great Blog articles here.
Dr F Scott Feil is a husband, a father, a physical therapist (PT, DPT, EdD, Cert-APHPT), a professor, and most recently an Amazon best-selling author. F Scott is also a business coach and mentor. He is one of the creators and co-hosts of the Healthcare Education Transformation Podcast which aims to break down the silos between healthcare professions in an attempt to find best practices in teaching and learning throughout healthcare academia. He also hosts the Professors of Profit Podcast where he interviews healthcare professionals about their side gigs and side hustles. His goal is to help at least 222 professors and clinicians pay off their student loans quicker and/or more efficiently by using multiple revenue streams. He is also the owner of PTEducator.com , FGI Consulting, and Epic Therapy and Wellness.