Dr James Reilly TD, Minister for Health and Children, will today launch the report Fifty Plus in Ireland 2011: First Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).
TILDA is a 10 year longitudinal study of the health, social and economic circumstances of a large statistically representative sample of 8,000 people aged 50 years and over and is the first of its kind in Ireland. The Report being published today details the key findings from the first Wave of the Study.
On behalf of the State, the Department of Health and Children is providing €12million funding for TILDA over a ten year period. The other funders are the Atlantic Philanthropies and Irish Life.
Noting that the expected increase in the proportion of older people in our population will present both opportunities and challenges, the Minister stated that “any challenges can be successfully met by planning now”. He highlighted that “a central ingredient in good planning and policy development for older people in Ireland is the availability to policy-makers and service providers of valid, reliable and timely evidence about ageing and our older population”.
“TILDA’s multi-disciplinary focus incorporating high quality objective and subjective measurements of health coupled with its longitudinal design will provide a truly unique knowledge base”, the Minister continued and “will inform policies for older people in the years ahead”.
Noting that “an ageing population does not necessarily mean a sicker population” and that “advances in medical science that may be possible using the TILDA data have enormous potential to lessen the burden of disease among older people”, he concluded that “Ireland has a real opportunity to become a global centre for the development and commercialisation of technologies, services and products that can improve the well being of older people across the world”.
Dr Reilly added “We have stated in the past that our health policy will be predicated on evidence based information and TILDA will be an important part of this”.