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November 2013

TILDA finds that ‘Sandwich Generation’ Women Supporting Elderly Parents, Children and Grandchildren

One third of women aged 50-69 in Ireland today are in the ‘sandwich generation’ with the majority providing care to both elderly parents and dependent children, according to a new report from TILDA. The report provides insight into the important contribution of this group of women to supporting two generations - their living parents and younger dependent children – and finds that this has an impact on their physical and mental health.

Sandwich generation are providing a range of financial and non-financial support to elderly parents, dependent and non-dependent children and grandchildren. In fact, 58% of sandwich generation women give help to their parents and 83% give help to their children. One third look after grandchildren. Almost half of this group are providing this range of care and support while also in employment.

The research suggests that the impact of providing intergenerational support on women’s health varies by the type of support given. Providing financial support to children is associated with improved self-rated health among the sandwich generation women, but providing financial support to parents is associated with increased depression among this group. Providing practical household support for children is also associated with increased depression.

Link to News Release

Link to Full Report

October 2013

TILDA Collaborates on International Training Programme on Ageing

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), in conjunction with The Institute of Aging of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), hosted an international training programme on ageing from 17-19th September 2013 at Trinity College Dublin.

Attended by 29 participants from a wide range of disciplines related to ageing, including pharmacy, nursing, economics and gerontology, the 3-day programme featured sessions presented by some of the leading names in ageing research, including Dr. Susan Kirkland, Professor Thomas Scharf, Yves Joanette, Professor Virpi Timonen and TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny. TILDA Project Manager Dr. Claire O'Regan and TILDA researchers Dr. Bellinda King-Kallimanis and Dr. Cathal McCrory presented on the second day of the programme.

Presentations are available to download from the CARDI website:

Presentations Day 1

Presentations Day 2

Presentations Day 3

September 2013

One Million Boost for Ageing Research

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland have announced the launch of a new programme to promote ageing research over the next three years. The programme will fund five top quality post-doctoral researchers to create the next generation of leaders in research on older people and ageing issues.

Link: Press Release

Trinity Rises to 61st Place in World University Rankings 2013

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin has climbed six places this year to 61st position in the QS World University Rankings 2013 announced on 10th September. The rise consolidates Trinity’s position as Ireland’s highest ranked university and among the world’s leading higher education institutions.

Link: Press Release

Link: Press Cuttings (PDF)

August 2013

Trinity College is World Leader in Alzheimer’s Disease Research

The impact of Trinity College’s research into Alzheimer’s disease has put Ireland in first place in the world in this field of research. Trinity ranks in the top 1% of research institutions in 18 fields of Science and Technology.

Trinity Research 2013


Read more about Trinity’s research themes and world rankings in the Trinity Research 2013 booklet.




July 2013

COLLAGE is Ireland’s 3 Star Reference Site for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

TILDA and Trinity EngAGE Centre for Research in Ageing, are one of the six main research groups in COLLAGE, Ireland’s Reference Site for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

COLLAGE (Collaboration on Ageing) has been awarded a three star rating in Brussels for its bid to become a reference site for others to base best practice on through the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA). The six research groups are UCC, the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative, Trinity EngAGE, Netwell Centre, CASALA and Cork: a WHO Healthy City.

COLLAGE Reference site awards

Further information

COLLAGE website

Reference site awards on Youtube

Irish Times coverage

Trinity EngAGE and TILDA are members of three EIP AHA Action Groups

Irish Times highlights TILDA Research on the Impact of Childhood Adversity in Later Life

Two recent Irish Times articles show that TILDA research has significance well beyond influencing policy and planning for an ageing population. Studying the health, economic status and quality of life of Ireland's over-50s has also demonstrated the long-lasting effects of childhood abuse and poverty on later life physical and mental health. The article cites Dr. Cathal McCrory of TILDA, who, speaking at a recent ESRI conference, emphasised the links between wellbeing in childhood and in later life and reported that higher risk childhood environments were associated with the earlier onset of disease in adults.

Link: Adverse events in childhood cast long shadow, conference hears (The Irish Times)

Link: Research shows the powerful impact of children’s early years on the rest of their lives (The Irish Times)

June 2013

Irish Medical Times Discusses TILDA Comparative Research on Ageing in England, the United States, and Ireland

The Irish Medical Times has published an article highlighting recent TILDA research on the comparability of TILDA findings on physical and cognitive health in older Irish adults with those of similar longitudinal studies in the United States and England. The research was published in a special edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society focusing on the design, development and findings of TILDA. Similar health inequalities were observed in all three countries, but Irish over-50s were found to have more in common with their English counterparts than those in the United States in terms of physical and cognitive health.

Link: Study shows older US patients report more chronic diseases than the Irish (Irish Medical Times)

Review of TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting Published in ISC

Brussels-based communication agency, ISC (Intelligence in Science), which reports on the development of science and innovation policy in Europe, has published an article reviewing the recent TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting, at which a group of international experts in ageing advised TILDA researchers on the development of the study. The article highlights the unique challenges facing Ireland as its population ages and the contribution of TILDA research in providing a much-needed evidence base for policy makers planning how to meet the future needs of older people.

Link: Leading figures from Ireland's science community review a "unique" study on ageing (ISC)

ESRI Publishes TILDA Research Findings on Return Migrants in the Older Population

TILDA researchers Professor Alan Barrett and Dr. Irene Mosca authored a recently published ESRI research bulletin, drawing on TILDA data to examine the causes and consequences of migration in the Irish population aged 50 and over. A high proportion of TILDA respondents are return migrants, many of whom would have emigrated in the 1950s and 1980s, and the bulletin explores such questions as why people left, whether emigrants experienced higher levels of psychological stress over their lives and whether return migrants are now more socially isolated than those who never left Ireland.

ESRI Bulletin

Professor Barrett has published an article summarising some of the findings in The Irish Independent (available here) and the bulletin has also been discussed in The Irish Times (article available here) and (article available here).

May 2013

New Ageing Research from Ireland Featured in Special Edition of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

TILDA is pleased to announce the release of a special supplement featuring TILDA research in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


The purpose of the supplement is to introduce TILDA to health researchers across the world. In partnership with the world’s largest ageing studies such as the Health and Retirement Survey in the United States and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, TILDA aims to reinforce previous research findings while exploring novel areas in health and sociological conditions particular to Ireland. Examples include objective health measures that utilise new health technologies and financial circumstances collected at the time of the economic crisis.

TILDA is the first longitudinal aging study ever undertaken in Ireland and is investigating the health, economic and sociological aspects of over 8,000 participants aged 50 and over. Unique measures introduced in TILDA’s health assessment include eye retina exams, walking mat technology (gait), and a comprehensive memory evaluation.

TILDA in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, May 2013, features an introduction to TILDA highlighting the importance of TILDA for future government policy in Ireland and ageing research across the world and a series of articles showcasing our research.

Special Edition Contents

April 2013

TILDA Researcher Wins Scientific Award at Recent British Geriatrics Society Conference

Mr. Eoin Duggan, a medical student based at TILDA, recently won the prestigious Fergus Anderson Prize at the Spring British Geriatrics Society conference in Belfast. His research investigated the relationship between vision and gait in older adults as part of a wider program of TILDA research examining the biopsychosocial risk factors associated with falls in the elderly.

This work was funded by a recent HRB Summer Student Scholarship and conducted under the supervision of TILDA researchers Dr. Ciarán Finucane (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr. Hilary Cronin (Geriatric Medicine), Dr. Orna Donoghue (Biomechanics) and TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny.

Eoin Duggan with his award-winning poster

Mr. Eoin Duggan, Medical Student Researcher at TILDA, with his award-winning poster

The research was conducted using data from the first wave of TILDA and the findings indicate that poor contrast sensitivity but not visual acuity is related to poor gait performance in older adults. These findings are significant clinically and may contribute to a new awareness about the importance of vision, particularly contrast sensitivity, in the field of geriatric medicine. This is particularly relevant in conditions like falls, which are related to gait disturbances. International falls risk guidelines already include an assessment of vision as part of a comprehensive clinical assessment. These findings suggest that contrast sensitivity is a more important marker than visual acuity, which is normally used in clinical assessments of older adults. Ongoing research in TILDA aims to determine the importance of this and other parameters as part of a global falls risk assessment program, with a view to reducing the prevalence of falls, which occur annually in one in three adults aged over 65.

Commenting on the results, Professor Rose Anne Kenny said: “This research highlights the importance of comprehensive assessments when assessing complex health issues common in older adults, such as falls. Poor contrast sensitivity potentially puts the ageing population at risk of serious falls as it limits their gait patterns. Comprehensive testing and treatment strategies targeting vision may in the future help us better enable the independence of older adults”.

TILDA researchers awarded CARDI funding

TILDA researchers Dr. Eibhlin Hudson and Dr. Irene Mosca with Professor David Madden (UCD) were awarded funding by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) to examine health inequalities in health behaviours. Dr. Matthew O' Connell and Dr. Bellinda King-Kallimanis were also awarded funding by CARDI to carry out research focussing on frailty disability.

Link to CARDI's press release

National Positive Ageing Strategy launched by Minister Lynch

The Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch, launched the National Positive Ageing Strategy on the 24th of April. Analysis of data from the TILDA study features throughout the document and further use of the data by government departments in making policy decisions is listed as an area of action in the plan.

Link to press release

Link to full report

March 2013

Publication of TILDA Report on Patterns and Determinants of Health Care Utilisation in Ireland

Link to Full Report

News Archive


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