In February 2010, the first wave of data collection for one of the most important studies ever to be undertaken in Ireland or Europe on aging in persons with intellectual disability will commence. The Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (IDS.TILDA) will involve approximately 800 people with intellectual disability aged 40 years and over from across Ireland. Letters of invitation will be sent to selected participants by post throughout 2010.

We would encourage everyone selected to take part in this national study, regardless of their level of intellectual disability, to ensure that the results accurately reflect and improve our understanding of all aspects of people’s lives as they grow older. The support of people with intellectual disability, families and services will be critical for the success of this study.

Led by Professor Mary McCarron, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, the IDS-TILDA is the first study of its kind in Europe, and the only study with the potential of comparing the aging of people with intellectual disability directly with the general aging population. The study findings will guide efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy on successful aging, health promotion and disease prevention, and the improvement of health and social services for older people with intellectual disability in Ireland.

“It was a privilege, I was proud to tell her all about me, and how I was getting on and all the things I do in my life. I liked it when she came to visit me because I like people to visit me, I liked her company and I told her I was very happy.”
Mr. Barry Griffin (Pilot Participant), Western Care Association 2009

This was a quote from one of the participants in the recently completed pilot phase of the IDS.TILDA. The IDS.TILDA team is committed to supporting the participation of all selected participants in this very important study. We need to talk to people with all levels of intellectual disability so that we can get a true picture of people’s lives as they grow older. You can take part in this study
—with someone to support you, or
—another person can answer questions on your behalf.

Showcards have also been developed to aid communication, maximise participation and empower people with intellectual disability in this study.

The following is a quote from a support worker who supported a participant to take part in the pilot phase of the IDS.TILDA:

“As a key worker I was delighted to assist a client who chose to participate in the pilot study. I am particularly delighted to see people with intellectual disability included in such a big way in this very important research”.
Ms. Mary McCann .RNID, Staff Nurse Aras Attracta Services 2009

We hope that if you or someone you know is selected for the study that you will decide to take part and enjoy the experience. Together let’s work towards making Ireland the best place to grow older.

If you have any queries questions about the study or require need any further information, please call the research team on (01) 896 3186 / 318701.896 3186