Thursday, May 19, 2011

Study Of 8,000 Older People (Ireland)

My Comments:

Long story; worth reading.
This study is very revealing: Irish senior citizens are relatively
well off, enjoy life, happy and contended; taken care of by society
and children. WoW
Bharat is supposed to be a Punyabhumi with long entrenched traditional
values where elders were taken care of as a matter of routine. Where
have we come to!

Sorry for giving text only version which is somewhat cluttered. Pl go
to original site and Vote / Comment there too.

Study Of 8,000 Older People

Main Category: Seniors / Aging
Article Date: 12 May 2011 - 2:00 PDT

The first results from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA),
a national study of 8,000 older people aged 50 and over, were launched
May 9th by the Minister for Health and Children, Dr James Reilly.

TILDA is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on aging in
Ireland. Between 2009- 2011, over 8,000 people aged 50 and over were
randomly selected across the country and interviewed about many
aspects of their lives including issues such as health, financial
circumstances and quality of life. Almost 85 per cent of the
participants also underwent a rigorous health assessment. The same
group will be interviewed every two years until 2018. Further health
assessments will be undertaken on the participants in 2014 and 2018.
This report, Fifty Plus in Ireland 2011: First Results from the Irish
Longitudinal Study on Aging, contains initial findings from the study.
TILDA is funded by the Department of Health and Children, Irish Life
and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Commenting on the significance of the study, Principal Investigator of
TILDA and Professor of Medical Gerontology, Professor Rose Anne Kenny
said: "The importance of this study cannot be understated. By
collecting and analysing this data, we will be able to develop a much
deeper understanding of the lives and circumstances of older people
and of the factors which lead to good health and good quality of life
in older ages. This will mean that Ireland will be better placed to
plan for the aging of our population and to help policy makers ensure
that limited resources are correctly targeted to those in need. TILDA
provides exciting opportunities for Research and Development and new
models of service delivery to create employment in this rapidly
developing demographic. We are deeply grateful to our participants.
Because of their generosity in taking the time to provide us with this
crucial information, Ireland now and in the future will greatly

When launching the report, the Minister said that the Study's high
quality objective and subjective measurements of health coupled with
its longitudinal design "will provide a truly unique knowledge base
that will inform policies for older people in the years ahead."

The findings in the report cover many topics and show that there is
considerable diversity across older adults in terms of the various
dimensions of their lives. A selection of findings is highlighted

When the participants were asked about their quality of life, the
following emerged.
The 50+s report that they derive considerable enjoyment from life.
Eighty-five per cent report that they often enjoy the things they do,
while 81 per cent often look forward to each day. Over 80 per cent
feel that life is full of opportunities. The report also shows how
this group contributes significantly to their families and
communities, in terms of both money and time. Specific examples of
this are as follows:
Over one third of people aged 50 and over provide practical household
help including shopping and household chores to their children who are
not living with them and nearly half provide care to grandchildren.
Over one quarter of 50+ households report giving a financial or
material gift worth €5,000 or more to their children within the last
ten years.
Over a quarter of 50+s do voluntary work at least once or twice a month.
The report shows the extent to which health declines across age groups
and two examples of this are as follows:
Seventy nine per cent of those aged between 50 and 64 say that their
health is excellent, very good or good but this falls to 66 per cent
for people aged 75 and older.
The proportion of people with high blood pressure increases from 29.7
per cent for those aged 50- 64 years to 53.7 per cent for those aged
75 and over.
A constant finding across the report is that those with higher levels
of education and wealth are likely to enjoy better outcomes later in
life. Examples include the following:
For men aged 50-64, 53 per cent with primary education are employed.
This rises to 70 per cent for those with third level education. For
women aged 50-64, 28 per cent with primary education are employed.
Among the third level group, 62 per cent are employed.
We find that individuals with a primary education report substantially
higher levels of chronic lung disease (5.5 per cent) compared to
individuals with second or third level education (3.6 per cent and 2.7
per cent respectively). Similarly, older adults in the lowest wealth
quartile report almost three times the rate of chronic lung disease
compared to older adults in the highest wealth quartile (6.5 per cent
versus 2.5 per cent).
Among other findings are the following:
On the issue of mental health, we find that 10 per cent of respondents
reported clinically significant depressive symptoms while a further 18
per cent reported 'sub-threshold' depression.
On incomes, we find that state transfers are the only source of income
for a high proportion of less educated older people. For those in the
lowest education group, around 40 per cent of people aged 50-64 have
no other source of income and this rises to 53 per cent for those aged
75 and over.
With regard to the use of health care services, we find that among
older people in poor health, attendance at either GP clinics or
emergency rooms is lower for those without medical cards or private
cover thereby raising concerns about diagnosis and treatment deficits
for this group.
People with disabilities receive an average of 118 hours of help per
month. As the most common primary helper for this group is the care
recipient's spouse, this translates into extensive inputs by older
adults into the care of other older adults.
Amongst women at work, 41 per cent are not covered by an occupational,
PRSA or private pension scheme compared to 20 per cent of men. Pension
coverage also varies significantly by socioeconomic group.
Executive summary, full report and chapter-by-chapter versions can be
found at TILDA.

Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn
Trinity College Dublin
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