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News and Events Archive: 2013 2012 2011

December 2014

New TILDA Research Brief - The Links between Fear of Falling, Visual Impairment and Mobility

Research lead by Dr. Orna Donoghue of TILDA shows that older adults with poor self-rated vision were more likely to report fear of falling and fear-related activity restriction.

A new Research Brief released by TILDA today (10th Dec. 2014) details the findings from two TILDA papers previously published; examining whether fear of falling affects walking patterns ansd if visual impairment is associated with fear of falling, and if so, how does this affect mobility in people with fear of falling. Data from the first wave of TILDA was used, providing a unique opportunity to examine fear of falling and mobility in a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling older Irish adults. These papers focus on those aged 65 and over - the group most at risk for falls and disability.

The findings in this Research Brief have important implications for policymakers and practitioners:

  • Clinicians need to recognise fear of falling and manage it before it leads to activity restriction.

  • Clinicians should assess walking ability in older adults with fear of falling and provide guidance on appropriate exercise interventions that improve physical function including walking.

  • A comprehensive vision assessment should be included for older adults, especially those who have reported fear of falling. Appropriate prescription of visual aids is encouraged along with advice on environmental adaptations to improve visual function especially in low light and poor contrast conditions.

Link: Research Brief

Link: Academic Papers


November 2014

TILDA's Deirdre Robertson receives the Deirdre McMackin Memorial MedalDeirdre Robertson

Congratulations to our very own Deirdre Robertson on receiving the Deirdre McMackin Memorial Medal at the recent Psychological Society of Ireland meeting.

Deirdrew was awarded the medal for presenting of her paper on "The impact of poor perceptions of ageing on longitudinal cognitive decline".

The Deirdre McMackin Memorial Medal is awarded to an individual who has been judged, by the selection committee for the PSI's Division of Neuropsychology, to have made a significant contribution to the field of neuropsychology as evidenced by the submission of a research paper and delivery of a presentation at the PSI Annual Conference.

This Award is in memory of the late Dr Deirdre McMackin and her contribution to the development of neuropsychology in Ireland.

For more information on the Deirdre McMackin Award please click here.


MISA Annual Lecture

The 2014 Mercer's Insititute for Successful Ageing Annual Lecture will take place on Thursday November 27th in the Durkan Lecture Theatre. The lecture is titled "The five horsemen of Cognitive Reserve - How environments delay dementia" and will be presented by Professor Ian Robertson.

For more details about the event, please download the event poster here.

New TILDA Report on the Emigration of Adult Children and the Mental Health of their Parents Published

A new report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), led by Trinity College Dublin, has shown that the mental health of mothers suffered as a consequence of the emigration of their children during the recession. The study showed that mothers experienced increased depressive symptoms and greater loneliness than mothers whose children did not emigrate. The researchers found, however, that with the exception of fathers aged over 65, fathers did not suffer an equivalent decline in mental health following the emigration of one or more of their children.

Migration Report



Full Report

Press Release


In the year ending April 2006, 36,000 people emigrated from Ireland. By 2009, when data collection for TILDA began, this number had doubled to 72,000 with numbers peaking at 89,000 in 2013. These high rates of outflow meant that a large number of TILDA respondents saw their children emigrate.

The study’s authors Dr Irene Mosca, TILDA Research Fellow in Economics at Trinity and Professor Alan Barrett, Research Professor at the ESRI and TILDA, used three kinds of mental health measurements including a measurement of depressive symptoms, self-rated emotional/mental health and loneliness feelings and compared the results for mothers and fathers whose children had emigrated during this period with parents whose children had not emigrated. They also controlled for other events which may have impacted on the mental health of the study’s participants such as widowhood, loss of close friends and relatives, retirement, unemployment, illness and disability.

In addition to clear findings on the negative impact of emigration on the mental health of mothers whose children emigrated during the recession, the authors also found that the parents of those children who emigrated were on average younger, more highly educated and had better mental and physical health at Wave 1 of the TILDA study than the parents of children who remained in Ireland.

October 2014

Insights from TILDA Presented to World Health Summit Leaders in Berlin

Trinity College Professor Rose Anne Kenny has been invited to present insights from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at the World Health Summit 2014 in Berlin this week.  The World Health Summit is the annual conference of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities, and Academies of Sciences, which brings together decision-makers from 80 countries to discuss pressing issues facing healthcare systems.

TILDA provides a comprehensive analysis of the experience of ageing by studying a nationally representative sample of 8,500 people aged 50 and over in Ireland, offering an accurate picture of the characteristics, needs and contributions of older people. TILDA is being recognised internationally for catalysing research findings to inform social, economic and healthcare policies, in addition to transforming clinical practices in Ireland.  TILDA data has enabled innovations in technologies in addition to fundamental research into the ageing processes and diseases.

Launched in 2006, TILDA provides the evidence base from which to make appropriate healthcare and policy decisions to ensure successful ageing. TILDA findings have improved clinical practices and assessments in Irish medical facilities, including the Mercer’s Institute of Successful Ageing at St. James’s Hospital, which utilises its data to transform patient assessments and healthcare approaches in heart health, bone health, falls and syncope, stroke, incontinence, brain health, and mental health. 

“My vision,” says Principal Investigator Rose Anne Kenny, “is to advance the mobile technologies and healthcare surveys refined by TILDA so that we can improve access to healthcare for all.  Whether a person is in rural Ireland, China, Africa, Brazil, or elsewhere, we are creating rapid assessments through mobile technologies to improve health.  Because of TILDA, Ireland is now recognised as a leader in this area and the Summit allows us to share our lessons learned.”

TILDA's findings are foundational to a number of national policies including the Healthy Ireland Framework, the National Positive Ageing Strategy, and the Dublin Age Friendly City Strategy.  TILDA data has also influenced recent high-profile studies including the Long-Term Economic Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Survivors by the Economic and Social Research Institute.  TILDA’s Obesity in an Ageing Society report garnered significant national attention when it noted that 79 percent of Irish adults over the age of 50 are either overweight or obese. 

The World Health Summit 2014 enjoys the high patronage of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President of the French Republic François Hollande, and the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.  Other notable speakers include Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine Barry J. Marshall, Hon. President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge, and Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny.

Rose Anne will join an international team which includes Professor Elio Riboli (Imperial College London), Ambassador Michael Gerber (Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development, Switzerland), Professor Lefkos Middleton (Imperial College London) and Professor John-Arne Rottingen (Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government) for the keynote address on Universal Health Coverage, October 21st from 14.00-15.30pm (GMT +2). The Summit features a live-stream feature for all keynote lectures and symposium:

September 2014

CARDI Announces Five Future Leaders in Ageing Research

RIA New Members

CARDI Fellows with CARDI Co-Chairs, (left to right): Joanne Feeney, Charlotte Neville, Prof Bob Stout- co-Chair CARDI, Mark O'Doherty, Prof Davis Coakley Chair CARDI, Joanna McHugh, Aisling O'Halloran

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland has announced the appointment of five post-doctoral Fellows in a £1million investment to develop future leaders in research on ageing and older people. The CARDI Fellows, four at Queen’s University Belfast and one at Trinity College Dublin, will carry out research over the next three years into ageing issues with the aim of improving the lives of older people across the island of Ireland.

The new CARDI Fellows, announced at the inaugural meeting of the CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research in Belfast today are: Joanne Feeney, Joanna McHugh, Charlotte Neville and Mark O’Doherty, who will be based in Queen’s University Belfast, and Aisling O’Halloran based in Trinity College Dublin.

Joanne Feeney and Aisling O’Halloran were formerly researchers with TILDA. Joanne, Aisling and Charlotte will use TILDA data in their research.

The Fellows will carry out research on topics including physical frailty and ageing; diet and cognitive decline; the impact of stress on cognitive and cardiovascular health and the social determinants of cognitive decline and healthy ageing.

The five Fellows were chosen based on the quality of their proposals, potential to become future leaders in ageing research and the commitment and support of their host universities.

The appointment of the Fellows marks a substantial investment in the area of ageing research in Ireland, North and South. The direct investment aims to support the development of a strong community of researchers in ageing focussed on policy-relevant research which can support effective policy-making for the ageing populations.

"We are delighted to announce a substantial injection of funding which will see the appointment of five research Fellows under CARDI’s Leadership Programme. It provides vital support to encourage and develop a new generation of researchers into ageing in Ireland, North and South, who can work to improve the health and well-being of our populations as they age," said CARDI Co-Chair, Professor Bob Stout.

The CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research is funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland has announced the appointment of five post-doctoral Fellows in a £1million investment to develop future leaders in research on ageing and older people. The CARDI Fellows, four at Queen’s University Belfast and one at Trinity College Dublin, will carry out research over the next three years into ageing issues with the aim of improving the lives of older people across the island of Ireland.

RIA New Members

CARDI Fellows (left to right):Joanne Feeney, Charlotte Neville, Mark O'Doherty, Joanna McHugh, Aisling O'Halloran with back row left to right Professor Rose Anne Kenny – TILDA, TCD; Professor Davis Coakley – Co-Chair of CARDI; Dr Graham Love – CEO, Health Research Board

For more information go to

Media queries should be directed to:
Nicola Donnelly, CARDI
t: 00353 (0) 1 478 6308/ 086 7927 684

The CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research was launched in 2013 and two calls for applicants were made in September 2013 and January 2014.

CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research Fellows:

Dr Aisling O’Halloran, Trinity College Dublin

Dr O’Halloran’s research as a CARDI Fellow is on the theme of frailty and older people in Ireland, North and South. Frailty is a driver of functional and cognitive decline, predicting multi-morbidity, disability, increased health care utilisation and mortality in older people. However, frailty can be ameliorated through early detection and intervention. This will help to identify risk factors for frailty in older people with the aim of developing new evidence-based targets for the early detection of frailty and suitable interventions. It will also seek to develop estimates of future healthcare needs related to frailty.

Dr Joanne Feeney, Queen’s University Belfast

For the CARDI Leadership Programme, she will explore the impact of stress on the neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older adults in the North and South of Ireland. The experience of severe or persistent psychological stress can alter immune mediators, trigger inflammatory processes and increase oxidative stress, damaging brain and cardiovascular health. Determining the impact of stress on neurocognitive and cardiovascular health is important in order to help uncover potential pathways to, and early indicators of, disease and disability.

Dr Charlotte Neville, Queen’s University Belfast

In her research, as a CARDI Fellow, Dr Neville will explore the association between fruit and vegetable intake, retinal microvascular health and cognitive decline and dementia risk. Accurate assessment of dietary intake in older populations is vital to unravel the potential role of diet in healthy ageing. The research will examine assessment methods currently used and test other potential dietary assessment methods that may be particularly suited to older people.

Dr Mark O’Doherty, Queen’s University Belfast

His research as a CARDI Fellow will explore differences in trends in work related disability and in the way people report disability between nations and across different national health and welfare contexts. At a time when working lives are being extended, this research aims to develop expertise in the evaluation and assessment of work related disability among older adults through the use of disability vignettes which will supplement self-reported disability.

Dr Joanna McHugh, Queen’s University Belfast

The focus of her research as part of the CARDI Leadership Programme is the social determinants of cognitive decline among older adults in Ireland, North and South. It will examine the causal links between loneliness and social isolation and cognitive decline. The project will investigate several factors, such as social support, stress and neuro-inflammation to clarify their contributions to the relationship between social isolation and cognitive outcomes in later life. Understanding these factors can help combat the growing problem of cognitive decline and dementia in Ireland.

RIA New Members

CARDI Fellows with Mentors (left to right): Joanne Feeney, Charlotte Neville, Mark O'Doherty, Joanna McHugh, Aisling O'Halloran, Professor Ian Young – Director Centre for Public Health QUB; Professor Jayne Woodside – Professor of Human Nutrition, QUB; Professor Rose-Anne Kenny – TILDA TCD; Professor Frank Kee – Director, UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI), QUB.

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland has announced the appointment of five post-doctoral Fellows in a £1million investment to develop future leaders in research on ageing and older people. The CARDI Fellows, four at Queen’s University Belfast and one at Trinity College Dublin, will carry out research over the next three years into ageing issues with the aim of improving the lives of older people across the island of Ireland.

Positive Ageing Week 2014

Age Action are delighted to launch Positive Ageing Week 2014 which this year runs from 1st October to mark UN International Day of Older Persons to 9th October to mark World Sight Day.

This year hundreds of events will take place across the country celebrating the contribution older people make and continue to make in their communities.

They would be delighted if you would get involved this year by organising an event in your area. To download a poster to advertise your event please click here. You can also complete the online reply slip at A calendar of events will be compiled which will be uploaded to their website on Friday 26th September 2014.

August 2014

New ESRI/TCD Research Shows the Long-Term Economic Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) on Survivors

Using data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), researchers at the ESRI and TCD find that male survivors of CSA are three times more likely to be out of the labour force due to sickness/disability compared to other men.

A new Research Bulletin published by the ESRI and TCD today (Friday 15 August 2014) reports on a study which examined whether people who experienced CSA suffered long-term economic consequences in terms of lower attachment to the labour market and/or lower incomes.

The study uses data from the first wave of Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). Between 2009 and 2011, 8,500 people aged 50 and over and living in Ireland were interviewed about a wide range of issues such as income, wealth, labour force status and health. Through a self-completed questionnaire, participants were also asked questions about sexual abuse suffered before the age of 18.

Link: Press Release

Link: Research Bulletin

Link: Academic Paper

July 2014

Extensive Press Coverage of Obesity in an Ageing Society Report

The new TILDA report 'Obesity in an Ageing Society' has received widespread coverage in the press. Numerous articles have appeared in both print and online media and the report has also been covered extensively by national and local broadcast media, including RTE News, Newstalk's The Right Hook and The Breakfast Show, and TV3's The Midday Show.

Link: full list of coverage

New TILDA Report on Obesity in an Ageing Society Published

A new TILDA report published on 18th July shows that nearly four out of five adults over the age of 50 are overweight or obese and a similar proportion has an ‘increased’ or ‘substantially increased’ waist circumference. This means that just one fifth of the over 50s have a normal BMI or waist circumference. The report, titled 'Obesity in an Ageing Society', highlights the increased health risks and health services burden in older adults due to high rates of obesity.

Obesity Report cover



Full Report

Press Release


Speaking about the findings, Dr Siobhan Leahy, TILDA Research Fellow and lead author of the report said: “TILDA is the first study to look specifically at obesity in the over 50s in Ireland. Our findings show not only worryingly high levels of obesity but also the impact of these levels on health and everyday activity among the over 50s in Ireland.”

Dr Anne Nolan, TILDA Research Director and co-author of the report said: “At a time when the Irish health service is faced with the challenge of delivering services with fewer resources, the finding that obesity is associated with a significantly higher use of health services is a cause for concern. A greater focus on health promotion and prevention is required to not only improve population health and well-being, but also to ensure the future sustainability of our health system.”

The report has already received substantial coverage in the national press, including the front page of The Irish Times:

Link: Irish Times coverage

Link: Irish Examiner coverage

TILDA Data Used in Study of Alcohol Consumption in Older Irish Adults on Prescribed Medication

A new study from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)'s School of Pharmacy, led by Dr Gráinne Cousins and using TILDA data, has found that 60% of older Irish adults taking prescribed medications which have the potential to interact with alcohol, still regularly consume alcohol during the course of their prescription. Alcohol can interact harmfully with certain prescription medications, which are known as alcohol interactive (AI) medicines. The findings of the study have received coverage in the national press.

Link: RCSI Press release

Link: Irish Examiner article

May 2014

Professor Rose Anne Kenny is Honoured with Election to the Prestigious Royal Irish Academy

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to ageing research in Ireland and internationally, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, founder of TILDA, has been honoured with membership to the Royal Irish Academy. Membership of the Royal Irish Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. 

RIA New Members

From left: Prof Anita Maguire, Rose Anne Kenny, Dr Nuala C Johnson and Dr Iseult Honohan, newly elected members of the Royal Irish Academy (John Ohle Photography)

At the ceremony admitting the 15 new members, Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy said: ‘When the Royal Irish Academy elects members, it does so on the basis of a candidate’s publications and research record—the sole criterion is quality. This research may help in the treatment of disease, or it may enhance our understanding of a past civilisation. Members of the Academy should not shirk from their responsibility to let people know that basic research is important and that government support for fundamental research is a hallmark of a civilised society’. New members included other leading Trinity College Dublin academics Professor Andrew Bowie, Professor Padraic Fallon, Professor Mani Ramaswami and Professor Ciaran Brady 

RIA Admittance Garden

Royal Irish Academy admits 15 new members

Among the 482 members of the Academy are many of Ireland’s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Joe Lee, historian; Patrick Honohan, economist; Dermot Gleeson, barrister and Attorney General 1994-7; Anngret Simms, geographer; Dermot Moran, philosopher; Peter Sutherland, lawyer and banker; Noel Dorr, former diplomat; Geraldine Kennedy, journalist; Susan Denham, Chief Justice; Paul Bew, political scientist; Luke O'Neill, Immunologist; Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.

Read more about the Admittance Ceremony here

RIA twitter page

TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting

The TILDA research team and affiliated researchers presented to members of the TILDA Scientific Advisory Board and other guests during a two-day event held at Trinity College, Dublin, on 15th-16th May. Pictured above at the meeting (from back, left to right) are Prof. Carol Brayne, Prof. Finbarr Martin, Prof. Annette Fitzpatrick, Prof. John C. Henretta, Prof. Robert Wright, Dr. Robert Clarke, Prof. David Weir, Prof. James Banks, Prof. Ian Young, Prof. Stacy Tessler Lindau, Prof. Rose Anne Kenny, Prof. James Nazroo, Prof. Jim Smith.

TILDA Research Awarded Best Poster Prize at EuroPRevent 2014 Conference

TILDA researcher Dr. Catriona Murphy was awarded a prize for best poster at the EuroPRevent 2014 conference in Amsterdam. The conference theme was Global Cardiovascular Health and the research presented used TILDA interview and health assessment data to examine the gap between evidence-based guidelines and clinical practice in lipid modification in adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.


Dr. Catriona Murphy's Award-Winning Poster (click for larger PDF version)

The research concluded that despite strong evidence and clinical guidelines supporting the use of statins in those with clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, a large gap exists between guidelines and clinical practice in Ireland in the cohort examined. Previous research has demonstrated poor control of risk factors in those with established coronary heart disease. Failure to adhere to prescribed medications may explain some of the difference identified between guidelines and practice. It is also of concern that a low proportion of those who were asymptomatic but at high risk using SCORE were taking statins. This suggests that routine global risk assessment is being underused in clinical practice. Barriers to full implementation of the guidelines need to be examined in light of these findings and proactive policies pursued to achieve higher levels of guideline implementation.

Link: full abstract

Link: further information on EuroPRevent 2014 conference

April 2014

TILDA Data Used to Examine Impact of Economic Crisis on Older People's Health and Well-being

A new ESRI Research Bulletin uses TILDA and SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) data to explore the impact of the economic crisis on the health and well-being of Ireland's Over-50s. The bulletin, authored by TILDA Economics Principal Investigator Professor Alan Barrett (also head of the Economic Analysis Division at the ESRI) and TILDA Research Fellow Dr Vincent O'Sullivan, finds that despite a large fall in wealth for the over-50s in Ireland between 2006/7 and 2012/13, no significant deterioration in the group's average health or well-being is evident.

The findings have been discussed in the Irish print media and Professor Barrett has been interviewed on RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime and Newstalk's Breakfast show. The results have also been published in Applied Economics Letters under the title The wealth, health and well-being of Ireland’s older people before and during the economic crisis.

Link: full report (PDF)

Link: Irish Examiner article

Link: Professor Alan Barrett on RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime (interview begins 01:50:30)

Link: Professor Alan Barrett on Newstalk's Breakfast show (interview begins 49:45)

TILDA Researcher Presents at Trinity Week Symposium on 'Happy Healthy Ageing'

The Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, hosted this year’s programme of events for Trinity Week on the theme of The Science of Happiness, which was open to public participation. TILDA Research Fellow Dr. Cathal McCrory presented on Thursday 10th April at the 'Happy Healthy Ageing' Symposium. Dr McCrory spoke on ‘Life Satisfaction and Quality of Life among Older People in Ireland: Findings from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)’ and discussed how evidence emerging from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) has contributed to our understanding of the way in which quality of life changes over the age span, and how quality of life in mid-life and older ages is shaped by health, wealth, and the social environment.

'Happy Healthy Ageing' Symposium Programme

Full Programme for Trinity Week: 'The Science of Happiness'

Job Opportunities at TILDA

TILDA is currently recruiting research nurses for our Wave 3 Health Assessments. An opportunity also exists for a labour economist to join the research team. Please see our vacancies page for more details.

February 2014

Extensive Press Coverage of TILDA Wave 2 Key Findings Report

Since the official media launch on January 29th 2014, the publication of the new TILDA Key Findings Report, 'The Over 50s in a Changing Ireland: Economic Circumstances, Health and Well-Being', has received extensive coverage across print, broadcast and online media. TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny has been interviewed about the report's findings on numerous programmes, including Newstalk radio, RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ One's Six One News.

Link: full details of press coverage (PDF)

January 2014

Second TILDA Key Findings Report Published

On January 29th 2014, TILDA published its second key findings report, titled 'The Over 50s in a Changing Ireland: Economic Circumstances, Health and Well-Being'. The report uses data from the second wave of TILDA data collection, which lasted from April 2012 to January 2013, to examine how the lives of the over 50s in Ireland have changed since the first wave of data collection in 2010. This was a period of considerable social and economic change in Ireland, dominated by the severe financial and economic crisis. Key findings demonstrate serious health challenges faced by older adults in Ireland such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and problematic drinking.  The over 50s however report a high quality of life, smoking prevalence has declined and incomes have remained stable. These findings will inform health and social policy and practice in Ireland with long-term benefit for our ageing society.

intergeneration_transfers cover




Key Findings

Full Report

Press Release






Chapter by chapter

The report was officially launched on Wednesday 29th January 2014.


Launching the TILDA report: Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Mr. Paddy Clancy TILDA participant, Professor Charles Normand, Dr. Anne Nolan and Professor Alan Barrett


Authors of the TILDA Report (L-R): Dr. Celia O’Hare, Dr. Ciaran Finucane, Dr. Cara Dooley, Dr. Matthew O’Connell, Dr. Patrick Moore, Dr. Anne Nolan, Dr. Hugh Nolan, Dr. Claire O’Regan, Dr. Catriona Murphy, Dr. Christine McGarrigle, Dr. Vincent O’Sullivan, Dr. Siobhan Leahy, Dr. Joanne Feeney, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Dr. Orna Donoghue, Dr. Cathal McCrory, Dr. Irene Mosca

News and Events Archive: 2013 2012 2011

Last updated 10 December 2014 by TILDA - Web Administration (Email).