Ireland’s First Longitudinal Study on Ageing in Persons with Intellectual Disability launched by the Minister for Equality, Disability and Mental Health at TCD
Posted on: 03 December 2008
The largest study on ageing in persons with intellectual disability undertaken in Ireland was launched by the Minister for Equality, Disability and Mental Health, John Moloney, TD in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College. The occasion of the launch took place on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The study will involve approximately 800 persons with intellectual disability aged 40 years and over, charting their health, social, economic, environmental and psychological status as they age over a 10 year period. The sample will be drawn from the National Intellectual Disability Database*.
The study, the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)** is a collaboration with TILDA and is being led by TCD. Funding has been received from the Health Research Board.
This is the first longitudinal study on ageing in persons with intellectual disability in Europe, and the only study with the potential of comparing the ageing of people with intellectual disability directly with the general ageing population. A pilot study will be starting early next year and the full study will commence in September 2009.
Speaking at the launch, TCD’s Professor Mary McCarron, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Principal Investigator of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to TILDA, said: “While ageing in persons with intellectual disability is an incredible success story, it is also a tremendous challenge, as we know little about the ageing of people with intellectual disability in Ireland − or indeed in any country and we now have an opportunity to hear their voices and gather critical information. The inclusion of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to TILDA represents a major step towards building the evidence on which to base the development of sound policies in areas concerning older people with intellectual disability, and to integrate this population group into future national health and social care policies, and services.”
Collaboration with the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), led by Professor RoseAnne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA offers a unique opportunity to compare the Intellectual Disability Supplement findings to that of the general ageing population.
Participation in the study will be voluntary. The Health Research Board has committed to supporting the first three-year stage of data collection and analysis. Additional resources are being pursued to support the subsequent stages of data collection and analysis.
Minister for Equality, Disability & Mental Health, John Maloney, Professor Mary McCarron, Head of School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, & Margaret Gahan of Stewarts, Palmerstown.
Notes to the Editor
*About National Intellectual Disability Database
The National Intellectual Disability Database is a set of information that outlines the specialised health services currently used or needed by people with intellectual disability. The database informs the regional and national planning of these services by providing information on trends in demographics, current service use and future service need. The National Intellectual Disability Database was established in 1995 and has in excess of 25,500 registrations. The database is managed by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Department of Health and Children.
The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) is being undertaken by a cross-institutional, multidisciplinary team of experts from the Dundalk Institute of Technology, the Economic and Social Research Institute, the National University of Ireland Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and University College Dublin. TILDA’s funders are the Atlantic Philanthropies and Irish Life.
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. In addition, we need to have better understanding of the changes that have taken place in recent years. The data from TILDA will help to fill this gap and will provide policy-makers in the fields of health, social care, and pension planning 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.
The Principal Investigator for TILDA is Professor RoseAnne Kenny, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Trinity College Dublin and Head of the Department of Medical Gerontology.