The face-to-face interview takes place in the participant's own home. The interview is arranged for a time that suits the participant and is carried out with the aid of a laptop computer by a trained, experienced interviewer from Ipsos MORI, who carries photo ID. The local Gardaí will also know that the study is ongoing in their area.
TILDA aims to collect information on all areas of people's lives in order to improve planning and policy. In Wave 1, the interviewers collected information on living arrangements, children, education, sources of income and assets, physical and mental health, employment, lifelong learning, planning for retirement, care and social support. They recorded this information using a computer and it took about 90 minutes to complete.
In Wave 2, the interviewers asked questions about how participants’ circumstances and experiences had changed (or stayed the same) over the last couple of years. The interviewer also took a measure of handgrip strength and walking speed.
If there is a question or questions participants are not comfortable about answering, they can skip it. Obviously, the more answers participants can give us, the more useful the information will be. Questions are asked about participants' income and assets and we hope that most participants understand that it is very important for our study to assess people's standard of living and what they can afford as they grow older. Therefore we need good information about people's financial situation. We fully realise that people can be sensitive about these issues. However, it is really important for our study to get good information about financial matters. Of course, answers to these questions are, like all the information given by participants, kept strictly confidential and are only used for research purposes. They will not be passed on in an identifiable way to any other organisation or individual.