Demographics are changing dramatically in Ireland and globally – people are living longer and fertility rates are dropping. The impact on population health, social care and economic systems is significant.
This ageing transformation poses formidable challenges: how to sustain an adequate standard of living and quality of life for older people, and to provide appropriate services and facilities such as healthcare and social care, while ensuring the effectiveness and financial sustainability of our systems and institutions. Countries throughout the world are realising that creative policy initiatives are needed to address this challenge. However, one of the greatest success stories of modern times is the increasing number of people living into old age. Therefore, population ageing also offers society an opportunity to embrace the older population as a resource, rather than as a group solely in need of care and support.
Trinity academics and clinicians are promoting research and teaching in ageing, developing a comprehensive research agenda, broadening the interest of the College and wider community in ageing through public engagement. Trinity plays a leading role in relation to promoting awareness of ageing issues and maintaining relations with relevant external stakeholders.
TILDA is the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, tracing the experiences of over 8,500 people over the age of 50. Trinity researchers aim to identify early changes and early indicators of decline and to develop new treatments and new technologies to enable early interventions.
The Ageing Challenge
How can we keep people very healthy right to the very end of life?
The Ageing Opportunity
How can we enhance the contribution of older people to society?
Research Institutes / Centres
Trinity EngAGE, the Centre for Research in Ageing provides formal leadership for the coordination of ageing research across disciplines, in collaboration with Trinity’s teaching hospitals, St James’s and Tallaght, and other Trinity and national and international research and non-governmental organisations.
At present 140 Trinity researchers are actively working on age-related research across all domains in a systematic way:
- Mind: brain ageing, mental health
- Body: stroke and heart disease, falls and syncope
- Social Environment: population health, end-of-life, elder abuse, healthcare services; intergenerational transfers, pensions and financial security
- Built Environment: technology innovations, smart cities
Some of the challenges and opportunities of population ageing that Trinity researchers are addressing include:
- The biology of ageing and frailty
- Steps that individuals and society can take to enhance healthy ageing, ranging from health behaviours to new technologies
- How best to ensure care and quality at the end of life
- Economic issues, including macroeconomic effects of ageing populations, income security and health care financing
- How best to ensure that the contribution of the older population to society is enhanced
Featured Publications & Research Outputs
- Fifty plus in Ireland 2011: First results from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).
- Failure to demonstrate that memory improvement is due either to aerobic exercise or increased hippocampal volume.
- Orthostatic haemodynamics may be impaired in frailty.
Featured Trinity Researchers
- Theme Champion and main contact
- Professor of Geriatric Medicine/Consultant
- Trinity EngAGE, School of Medicine
- Professor of Old Age Psychiatry
- School of Medicine
- Professor of Health Policy and Management
- School of Medicine
- Professor of Social Policy and Ageing Research
- School of Social Work and Social Policy
- Professor of Construction Innovation and Director of TrinityHaus Research Centre
- School of Engineering
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