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Aging Aging Research

Knowledge Is Key to Better Serve Aging Populations

Northern Ireland | Republic of Ireland | 2003 - 2014

One sign of a healthy society is whether people are living longer. An even better measure is whether nations experiencing increasing longevity are taking steps to learn as much as they can about their aging populations and using that knowledge to ensure older adults live healthy and active lives.

In both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Atlantic made investments to stimulate, support and develop strategic age research; develop skilled leaders on aging research; and translate and communicate relevant research to help ensure it makes maximum impact on policy and practice.

Watch: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, known as TILDA, is the most ambitious study of aging ever carried out in Ireland.

What We Learned From This Work

  1. Good policy depends on access to quality research and if it is in short supply, funders have an opportunity to support systems for developing and sharing knowledge. For example, we invested in fellowships, academic chairs at universities and established institutes such as the Centre for Age Research and Development in Ireland to fund, publish and disseminate research and policy briefs.

  2. Sustained investment in human capital can generate world-class research communities and is key to attract leading academics.

  3. Concerted attention to research translation is critical to policy influence.

Spreading a Wide Research Net

Atlantic’s efforts to support learning about the needs of aging populations yielded new and useful data about older adults.

Filling in the Blanks

Atlantic grants made it possible for the Centre for Age Research and Development in Ireland to fill evidence gaps in critical aging policy areas like over-use of medication in care facilities, loneliness and isolation, physical activity and poverty.

Taking the Long View

Atlantic supported the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging and the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study on Ageing to compile a rich repository of data on the economic, physical, mental well-being of older adults in the two countries.

Tilling New Ground

A main initiative of the Atlantic-supported Galway Centre for Social Gerontology in Ireland was the Rural Ageing Observatory, which enabled staff to examine previously neglected aspects of ageing in rural areas.

Summaries of Case Studies, Evaluations & Reports

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