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Welcome to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) is a large-scale, nationally representative, longitudinal study on ageing in Ireland, the overarching aim of which is to make Ireland the best place in the world to grow old.

TILDA collects information on all aspects of health, economic and social circumstances from people aged 50 and over in a series of data collection waves once every two years. TILDA is unique amongst longitudinal studies in the breadth of physical, mental health and cognitive measures collected. This data, together with the extensive social and economic data, makes TILDA one of the most comprehensive research studies of its kind both in Europe and internationally.

News & Events

Upcoming Event

Strategies for Successful Ageing

Find out how staying happy, healthy, socially-connected and active can help you age successfully with this free online course.

Register today on Future Learn!

  • Course starts: 26th September 2016
  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 5 Weeks
  • 2 hours per week

During this 5 week course, distinguished academics and physicians at Trinity College Dublin will present on world-leading research in successful ageing. This course may challenge many of assumptions you have about growing old.

This course is relevant for adults who wish to acquire strategies for successful ageing. No previous experience or qualifications are required.

Join in the conversation on Social Media - Use the hashtag #FLageingwell to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.


October 2016

Changes in entitlement to medical cards results in changes in number of GP visits for over 50s

October 27th, 2016:

A new report launched today by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin, details the impact that changes to an older person’s entitlement to a medical card has on their use of health services, such as GP visits, flu vaccines, medications and hospital care. The report authors found that changes in people’s entitlement to medical cards are associated with changes in their use of GP services and level ofmedications dispensed.

Using data from two waves of TILDA in 2010 and 2012 they found that in the over 50s:

  • Gaining a full medical or GP visit card is associated with 1.3 extra GP visits per annum. Compared to the level of GP visiting for this group in 2010, which was 3 visits, this represents an increase of approximately 43 per cent.
  • For those who lose a full medical or GP visit card, the number of GP visits falls by 1.2 visits per annum. This is equivalent to a fall of approximately 29 per cent from the 2010 level which was 4 annual visits.
  • Gaining a full medical card was associated with a significant increase in the numbers of medications taken regularly.
  • Getting a medical card was not, however, associated with any significant changes in the probability of a flu vaccine, the number of emergency department visits, outpatient visits or inpatient nights.
  • 12.6 per cent of the over 50s who did not have a full medical or GP visit card in 2010, gained one by 2012.
  • For those with a full medical or GP visit card in 2010, just 3.5 per cent had lost their full medical or GP visit card by 2012.
  • To read more, click here.

    The full report is available here.

    TILDA researcher Dr Aisling O’Halloran awarded presidential medal prize at IGS 2016

    TILDA researcher Dr Aisling O’Halloran was awarded a presidential medal prize for her poster at the The 64th Annual & Scientific Meeting of the Irish Gerontological Society 2016 in Killarney. The conference theme was Developing Cultures of Excellence in Ageing and Exploring the Needs of Marginalised Groups. The research presented used TILDA interview and health assessment data to investigate circulating blood biomarkers in older adults with frailty. Dr. Aisling O’Halloran’s Award-Winning Poster.

    Newsletter 2015

    The research concluded that considerable variability exists in relation to associations between blood biomarkers and frailty, depending on the frailty instrument used. The identification of consistent cross-sectional associations with more than one frailty instrument strengthens the evidence that a biomarker may be correlated with frailty over time. However, causation cannot be inferred using cross-sectional data.

    Dr. O’Halloran is a CARDI Research Fellow, and is currently funded through the CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research.

    TILDA Research Fellow wins prize for best Oral Presentation

    Congratulations to TILDA Research Fellow Dr. Mark Canney who won the prize for best Oral Presentation at the recent Medical Gerontology Open Day, Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing, 2016. The award was presented by Professor Martin O'Donnell, the Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway and Interim Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway.

    Dr. Canney's research investigated the distribution of kidney biomarkers with advancing age in community-dwelling older adults.

    September 2016

    Topic Report: The impact of frailty on public health nurse service utilisation. Finding from The Irish longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

    A new report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing on older frail people’s use of public health nursing services in Ireland was launched today by Dr Lorna Roe of TILDA and the Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin at the annual general meeting of the Institute of Community Health Nursing. The report examines the demographic and healthcare entitlements of older frail Irish people utilising Public Health Nursing services. The study was commissioned by the Institute of Community Health Nursing (ICHN).

    To read more, click here.

    To download the report, click here.

    TILDA 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

    Thursday, 8th September 2016:
    Trinity College Dublin celebrated the 10 year Anniversary of TILDA. From heart conditions to caring for grandchildren and from undiagnosed diabetes to the power of positive thought, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) has spent a decade understanding Ireland’s older generation.

    Established in 2006, TILDA was designed to provide a nationally representative picture of ageing in Ireland. Understanding the characteristics, needs and contributions of older persons in Ireland is invaluable in helping us make Ireland one of the best place in the world to grow old.

    Watch RTE’s coverage of the event.

    Read the programme from the 10 year Anniversary.

    Uncovering the secrets of successful ageing - TILDA explores decade of research to understand a generation

    From heart conditions to caring for grandchildren and from undiagnosed diabetes to the power of positive thought, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) has spent a decade understanding Ireland’s older generation. Trinity College Dublin will celebrate that milestone with 600 of the 8500 participants at a special event today, at which researchers and participants will consider the critical impact this research continues to have on the lives of older people.
    Such is the breadth and depth of the subjects TILDA’s research covers that policy makers, NGOs and others have used the findings as the evidence base for 52 policy and strategy documents covering: transport; health; jobs; pensions; carers; residential and home care; health and road safety public awareness campaigns; capacity planning for services; medical care and practice; IT; health insurance; dementia prevention; volunteering; taxation and the economy.

    The TILDA research team and principal investigator, Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity, Rose Anne Kenny, will give examples of how this research is changing policy and practice for older adults. To read more, click here

    Using publicly archived TILDA datasets

    Delivered by TILDA in conjunction with the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA) and Gateway to Global Aging.

    Date: 9th September 2016
    Venue: Trinity College Dublin
    Cost: Free

    10am - 1pm: Introduction to publicly available TILDA datasets.

    • Overview of TILDA.
    • Accessing and using TILDA data, available through ISSDA.
    • Accessing and using the digital library and harmonised TILDA dataset,
    • through the Gateway to Global Aging.

    Room: Maxwell Theatre (90 spaces)

    2pm - 4pm: Hands-on workshop using the harmonised TILDA dataset to do cross-country comparisons.

    Room: Áras an Phiarsaigh PC Lab 0.12 (20 spaces)

    Spaces are limited on both sessions. To confirm your place, please contact Gearóid O’Donnell:
    Tel: +353 1 896 2952

    For more information:

    Using publicly archived TILDA datasets Flyer

    Harmonized TILDA Brochure

    May 2016

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny presents on “How a longitudinal study can change the research landscape” at the Biomedical and Life Sciences Innovation Showcase.

    Watch her talk here

    TILDA 2016 Scientific Advisory Board Meeting

    The TILDA research team and affiliated researchers presented to members of the TILDA Scientific Advisory Board and other guests during the one-day event held at Trinity College Dublin.

    To read more, please click here

    Lecture on Irish Immigrants to the US Marks 10 Years of TILDA.

    Hollywood movies often portrayed the Irish as a poor and uneducated race of people. Yet like so many other Hollywood storylines, this image is just a myth. In fact Irish migrants to the US during the first half of the 20th century were on average as well educated as other European immigrants to the US, according to Professor James Smith, who delivered the lecture ‘Irish Immigrants and their Progeny around the World’ in Trinity College Dublin to mark the 10th anniversary of TILDA.
    To read more, click here

    January 2016

    You’re Only As Old As You Feel!

    Our attitudes to ageing can have a direct effect on our health

    Negative attitudes to ageing affect both physical and cognitive health in later years, new research reveals. The study from TILDA, at Trinity College Dublin, further reveals that participants with positive attitudes towards ageing had improved cognitive ability.

    To read more, click here

    TILDA December 2015 Newsletter now available online

    See what the TILDA team has been up to in 2015!

    Newsletter 2015

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Last updated 27 October 2016 by TILDA - Web Administration (Email).