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Health and Wellbeing of Older Adults with Intellectual Disability


Ageing Well

The goal of the group is to develop and engage in research projects in aging through collaborations with all stakeholders on all levels that will optimise health and care in the aged cohort As the aged proportion of the population increases there is an urgent need for more research to inform practice and care in this cohort so as to optimise all aspects of care from prevention, treatment to self-care appropriate for this cohort across the care divide.

Current projects

  • ProACT (Intergrated Technology Ecosystems for ProACTive Patient Centred Care) PI: Dr. John Dinsmore. TCD Team: Prof. Mary McCarron, Dr. Anne-Marie Brady, Dr. Joan Cahill. Development of proactive integrated care technology ecosystems to support multimorbidity disease management (including detection of early onset cognitive decline/dementia) in an ageing population. Involves 12 partners across 6 EU member states. Trial sites in Ireland, Belgium and Italy. Award secured August 2015. European Commission - Horizon 2020  http://www.proact2020.eu
  • TILDA: Physical Activity and Inactivity in the Aged: PI: Prof Gabrielle McKee
  • TILDA: ADL/IADL disability in community dwelling older adults in the Irish longitudinal study on ageing. PIs: Dr Deirdre Connelly (OT) and Prof Gabrielle McKee
  • Metacognition and meta-memory in older adults. PI: Dr Claire Donnellan
  • Generating a Shared Identity and Purpose of Hollybrook . Louise Daly , Anna Ayton, Dr. Gabrielle McKee, Anna and Miracline Samuel (Hollybrook Hosptial Dublin)
  • Age related symptoms in Acute  coronary syndrome CS Dr Gabrielle McKee, Dr Sharon O’Donnell, Dr mary Mooney, Dr Frances O’Brien  (Secondary objective of HRB funded (funding  complete) RCT see cardiovascular)   

Current research students

  • Anna Ayton, A correlational study to determine relationships between biographical variables and nurses' attitudes towards older adults with dementia. Principal Supervisor: Prof Elizabeth Curtis
  • Sean Kilroy The Longitudinal Changes of Physical Activity and its Impact on Cardiovascular Disease in Irish Older Adults.  Principal  Supervisor : Dr Gabrielle McKee  (Linked to cardiovascular)
  • Hugh Fulham McQuillan, Measuring and Modelling the associations between the mental health of community dwelling older adults and levels of alcohol use: a mixed methods study Principal Supervisor : Dr Gabrielle McKee
  • Anne Marie Carew Measuring and Modelling Ageing in Opiate Addiction Treatment.  Funded   by The  National Focal Point for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction at the Health Research Board, Dublin, Ireland. Principal Supervisor: Prof Catherine Comiskey.

Open opportunities for MSc/PhD projects

There are opportunities for PhD projects within this longitudinal cohort study in the following topics:

1. Ageing Well Prof Claire Donnellan

  • Addressing cultural and linguistic diversity in cognitive screening protocols for older adult populations.
  • Developing the Resources and Life Strategy Management (REALISM) Intervention for care co-ordination in older adults.

2. Other research interests in Ageing

  • Investigating the biological mechanisms underpinning age-related modifications to the vasculature. Prof Aileen Lynch
  • Defining associations between cognition (global, executive and meta-cognition), self-regulation and goal attainment in neurological rehabilitation (this topic will be applicable to nursing, psychology, allied health and medically qualified candidates). Prof Claire Donnellan
  • Assessing associations between physiological, cognitive and behavioural variables in older adults with neurodegenerative diseases. Prof Claire Donnellan
  • Development of a nurse-led clinical governance stroke programme in Ireland: NLCGSP. Prof Claire Donnellan
  • Development and implementation of an integrated care pathway for the management of neurogenic dysphagia in gerontological care settings. Prof Claire Donnellan
  • Exploring the association between sedentary behaviour and cardiac risk in the ageing population. Prof Gabrielle McKee

Completed projects

  • Predictors of vascular cognitive impairment post stroke in a Middle Eastern (Bahrain) cohort: A case-control comparison.  Metacognition and meta-memory in age-associated neurological conditions e.g. completed work in the area of stroke. Dr Claire Donnellan  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27056067
  • Cost effectiveness and Quality of Life in Service Delivery for Persons with the dual disability of Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s Dementia. PI: Prof Mary McCarron 2004-2007 funded : Health Research Board
  • Perceptions of Stigma in Dementia: an Exploratory Study. PI: Prof Mary McCarron

Completed research students

  • Niamh Maher, Post Hip Fracture in Older Adults: interventions and strategies for improving outcomes. The role and function of the CNS within an elderly falls unit. Principal Supervisor: Fintan Sheerin (2015)
  • Lorna Greene (MSc Research)   Factors that contribute to sleep problems  in Older Irish Adults: the Irish longitudinal study on Ageing( TILDA)  Supervisor: Prof Gabrielle McKee (2016)
  • Laura  Dunne  (MSc in Research) A comparison of Factors which contribute to attendance and non- attendance for Prostate and Breast Cancer screening in an older Irish Population  Supervisor : Dr Gabrielle McKee  ( Linked to Cancer ) ( 2016)
  • Louise Daly, "Sustaining place": A Classic Grounded Theory of Informal Carers of People with Dementia. Principal Supervisor: Prof Mary McCarron (2010)
  • Lorraine Murray, Does age-related neuro-inflammation modulate the blood-brain barrier? Principal Supervisor: Prof Aileen Lynch. (2013)
  • Mary McCarron, The influence of Alzheimer's dementia on time spent care giving for persons with Down syndrome. Principal Supervisor: Prof Cecily Begley (2003)