Wednesday 26 June 2019

Quality of life in Ireland peaks when we reach 68 years of age - study

A couple contemplating the beautiful landscape
A couple contemplating the beautiful landscape
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Quality of life for people in Ireland peaks at 68 years of age – and then gradually declines.

A snapshot of the over-50s generation shows quality of continues to improve with age and more so if social engagement is strong.

This also includes people who have significant disabilities, who experience better quality of life and mental health if their relationships are strong.

The findings are revealed today in the latest instalment from TILDA (the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing) at Trinity College Dublin which tracked the lives of middle-aged and older between 2009 and 2016.

A key message is that older people benefit from  connectedness and solidarity within neighbourhoods .

Whereas smoking has declined for those 50-64, physical activity has not improved and problematic drinking rates remain constant.

As expected, the number of older persons who are frail has increased and with this overnight hospital admission and extended length of stay have also increased, whereas use of hospital out - patient facilities fell.

Dr Rose -Anne Kenny  of Trinity College said :”National policies targeted towards enhanced social engagement and a reduction in  loneliness and unwanted isolation should enhance health and quality of life.”

54.3pc of participants living in rural areas reported high social cohesion compared to 18.6pc of participants living in Dublin city or county.

One third of women (31pc) report positive supportive friendships  compared to 16pc of men.

Almost three quarters (74pc) of older adults participate in active and social leisure activities each week, while 52pc take part  participate in organised groups such as sports groups, book clubs, or charitable organisations.

Over half of older adults reported problematic housing conditions. The most prevalent issue was damp, mould or moisture.

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