Sunday 20 August 2017

To be happy in your old age, you'll need positivity, health and money

A longitudinal study has revealed many reasons people should look forward to growing old here, says an optimistic Dr Ciara Kelly

Golden years: A long-term study shows that Ireland is a reasonably good place in which to age, with most over-50s having a good quality of life and reasonable health Photo: Depositphotos
Golden years: A long-term study shows that Ireland is a reasonably good place in which to age, with most over-50s having a good quality of life and reasonable health Photo: Depositphotos

Tilda - The Irish Longitudinal study on ageing - which collects all sorts of information on the health, economic and social circumstances of our over-50s, turned 10 this week. Designed originally to provide an evidence-based insight into ageing in Ireland, its 8,500 participants have for the past decade undergone an in-depth interview every two years and a comprehensive health assessment every four years. This is in order to track changes in their physical, emotional and financial well-being over that time, and so assess where our older citizens are at, and support and plan for a positive experience of ageing for this and future generations. And all sorts of very interesting things have turned up in the data.

The really good news is that our quality of life - as perceived and reported by the participants in what is genuinely far-reaching and groundbreaking research - continues to improve year on year as we age over 50. So Irish people are getting happier as they get older.

And in fact, our quality of life peaks between the ages of 65 and 70 - making those five years in many ways the most valuable of your life. So think on that - you really do want to get to that point if you can, and in fairly good nick.

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