The Intellectual Disability Supplement to Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) Awarded New Funding

Posted on: 25 July 2012

The second wave of the Intellectual Supplement Disability to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) has been awarded funding of €300,000 from the Health Research Board and renewed funding from the Department of Health and Children. The study is the first of its kind in Europe and is also uniquely inclusive, from inception to dissemination.   The first wave was published earlier this year and the second wave will commence in early 2013.

Twelve research papers based on the first wave of the survey were recently presented at the World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSID). They included findings on health and health care utilisation as well as an increased understanding of  social connectedness, employment, carer experiences and falls in this population.

A series of research questions have been subsequently developed for the second wave  including the incidence of disease and increased disability, links between health characteristics and health service utilisation, the components of good health and longevity and predictors of premature ageing and frailty in people with intellectual disability (ID). These questions will be tested with data  emerging from the second phase of the study.

Principal investigator, Professor McCarron, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences noted: “Our work continues to gain international as well as funder recognition because it continues to be a groundbreaking study with its nationally representative sample. There is also huge support from people with an intellectual disability, their families and providers. There will be opportunities for comparisons with the general population and now, with this second wave of data collection, we will be able to understand how lives change over time, to track actual incidence of chronic conditions and to link social, family, daily living and health related data. We ultimately hope to provide insights that will  influence the development of policy responses to the ageing of people with ID.”       

About the Intellectual Disability Supplement to Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA)

The Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) is being carried out by Trinity College Dublin and led by Professor Mary McCarron,  of the  School of Nursing and Midwifery and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at TCD.

The Intellectual Disability Supplement to Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) is designed to better understand the experiences and challenges of adults with an intellectual disability (ID) as they age.  In its first wave of data collection, IDS-TILDA accumulated a sample of 753 persons aged 40+ with an ID.  The sample was drawn randomly from the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD) which responded to questionnaires addressing demographics, health, health utilisation, medication usage, ADL/IADLs, employment/day programming, social participation, social connectedness, life satisfaction, happiness, ageing perceptions, personal choices, sources of income and life-long learning.  The first wave cross-sectional findings established that the ageing of people with ID was similar in many respects to that of the general population but there were important differences in physical and mental health, health care access and utilization, incidence of dementia, and access to life-long learning, social engagement and friendship/family networks. The data is attracting national and international interest and it is the research team’s plan to make the data available electronically for other researchers.