Based on 10 years of findings from the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA), a new research documentary: ‘Ageing with PrIDe’ was launched at a gala screening in the the Samuel Beckett Theatre on Monday,December 3rd. The documentary captures a day in the life of Mei Lin Yap, a woman with Down syndrome, as she explores what it is like to age in Ireland. Mei Lin wants to prepare for a happy, healthy ageing experience, as she approaches her 30th birthday. The documentary tackles the challenges of ageing in a positive way for persons with an intellectual disability, while highlighting some of the key findings from the IDS-TILDA study.
The study looks at how the ageing process is affecting the physical and mental health of those aged 40 years and over with an intellectual disability in Ireland. Based at Trinity, IDS-TILDA is the first study of its kind in Europe and the only one in the world with the ability to compare the ageing of people with intellectual disability directly with the general ageing population. Over 700 people have taken part in the study.
The underpinning values of IDS-TILDA are inclusion, choice, empowerment, a person-centred focus, the promotion of people with intellectual disability, the advancement of best practices and to make a contribution to the lives of people with an intellectual disability. The documentary focuses on the importance of relationships and community engagement, while empowering people with an intellectual disability to talk about the concerns they may have about their changing health.
Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath launched Ageing with PrIDe to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Disabled Persons (December 3rd, 2018).
He said: “The work being carried out by IDS-TILDA is providing evidence to inform education, practice and policy, to address challenges, and to enhance the lived experiences of people with an intellectual disability as they age. Ultimately, this research is changing the delivery of care for people with an intellectual disability and building a dynamic new generation of researchers and practitioners who are investigating the complex nature of ageing for people with an intellectual disability. Importantly, people with an intellectual disability are involved in informing research questions and delivering training. I am a strong advocate of people with intellectual disabilities being afforded the opportunity to manage their own lives where possible and I witness this happening on a daily basis with great pleasure. This is something that I want us to celebrate proudly as we recognise the International Day of Disabled Persons.”
Speaking about her involvement in the new documentary, Mei Lin Yap said: “I’ve learned a lot from the IDS-TILDA team about ageing in Ireland with a disability. Taking part in the documentary was an eye-opening experience. It has given me a lot of food for thought and a different perspective on life.”
Principal Investigator IDS-TILDA and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity, Professor Mary McCarron said: “While the findings on obesity, physical inactivity and social isolation from the IDS-TILDA study are concerning, we want to focus on how people with an intellectual disability can make healthier choices, stay connected to family and friends, and make daily exercise fun. There are choices we can all make right now for a healthier and happier ageing experience. It’s not just about adding years to life, it’s about adding life to years.”