A Queen’s University project seeking to understand Northern Ireland’s ageing population has suggested that, between 2012 and 2037, the number of over-50s in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will increase by 35,239.
NICOLA, the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing, is seeking to understand the profound implications that this ‘ageing revolution’ will have on society and policy makers. As part of its work, NICOLA - supported by the Public Health Agency - will be following the lives of 589 randomly selected people in the over-50s age group from the Craigavon area.
“NICOLA is the largest public health research project ever undertaken in Northern Ireland, and will track the lives of 8,500 over-50s across Northern Ireland as they grow older,” commented Professor Ian Young, Principal Investigator of the NICOLA Project.
“NICOLA will help us change the way we live for the better by helping shape at least ten major government policies, tackling everything from pensions and benefits to dementia services and fuel poverty. In addition to gaining a better understanding of their own health and wellbeing, participants will leave a tangible legacy for future generations by giving policy makers - for the first time - real data upon which to base their decisions.
“Almost 600 participants from the local council area have taken part in the first stage of the project and we’re now ready to move into the next phase. Some local participants have already completed their health assessment whilst a new tranche of over-50s are currently being contacted to join the project.”
NICOLA consists of three stages: an interview conducted in the home, a questionaire, and a health assessment, which will take place at the new Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility at Belfast City Hospital. Follow-up interviews will be conducted every two years.
For more information, please email NICOLA@qub.ac.uk or phone 028 9063 3078