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TILDA study gets a home for its research in Trinity College

Resource type: News

Irish Medical Times | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

Trinity College Dublin is an Atlantic grantee.

by Gary Culliton

The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has launched The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) Health Assessment Centre at Trinity College Dublin and the public phase of the TILDA study that involves interviewing 8,000 older people over the next 10 years.

Commenting on the significance of TILDA, its Principal Investigator, Prof Rose Anne Kenny, Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Consultant Geriatrician at St James’s Hospital, stated: “Ageing on the scale we will experience in the near future is an unprecedented phenomenon in Irish history. In stark contrast to the evident importance of ageing, there is an acute shortage of social, economic and health information on older persons in Ireland. The data from TILDA will be crucial in filling this gap and will provide policy-makers in the fields of health, social care, pension planning and biotechnology with a unique knowledge base. TILDA is essential to underpin planning and to ensure a healthy and happy life span for the people of Ireland.”

“TILDA will study the many implications of population ageing, a critical topic for the future of Ireland. Universities across the country are joining together to collaborate in the work and support from the Department of Health and Children, the Atlantic Philanthropies and Irish Life has made it possible to proceed to the main phase of TILDA,” concluded TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty.

By 2036, one in five Irish people will be over 65 years of age; with the greatest increase being in those over 80 years of age. Ageing on this scale is unprecedented in Ireland and has significant consequences for Irish society from an economic, social and policy perspective.

TILDA is a study of a representative cohort of 8,000 Irish people over the age of 50, charting their health, social and economic circumstances over a 10-year period. It will collect detailed information on all aspects of their lives, including:

  • Health dimension – physical, mental, service needs and usage. Key data will be collated in the TILDA Health Assessment Centre officially opened by the President;
  • Economic dimension – pensions, employment, income and assets;
  • Social dimension – contact with friends and family, formal and informal care, social participation.