Health Service Executive publishes ‘Healthy and Positive Ageing for All’ Research Strategy 2015-2019 and announces €500,000 Research Fund & Awards Call
The Health Service Executive (HSE), Health and Wellbeing Division today, 1st June 2017, published its ‘Healthy and Positive Ageing for All’ Research Strategy 2015-2019. The purpose of the Research Strategy is to support and promote research that aims to improve people’s lives as they age.
The National Positive Ageing Strategy which is being implemented under the broader Healthy Ireland Framework has a stated goal to support and use research about people as they age to better inform policy responses to population ageing in Ireland.
To fulfil the objectives of this national goal, the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) has been established. The HaPAI is a collaborative partnership involving the HSE Health and Wellbeing Division, the Department of Health, the Atlantic Philanthropies and Age Friendly Ireland, with all partners recognising the value of undertaking research to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of older people.
As part of this initiative a €500,000 Research Fund and Awards Call has been announced. The theme of the Research Fund and Awards Call in 2017 is ‘Health Inequities and Inequalities as we Age in Ireland’. It is intended that outputs from the research awards will help to inform policy and practice in order to improve people’s lives as they age.
Helen McEntee T.D., Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People said:
"In Ireland today we have a growing older population. We are now living longer and thankfully the indications are that this trend will continue. Older people are active, productive and valued members of society and this is something to be celebrated. Together we should aim to make this a country where people think positively about ageing and plan to get the most out of life. Of course, we are also faced with challenges in supporting people as they age. We must ensure that the dignity and independence of the older generation is protected, and that the services and facilities people need are provided. Undertaking this type of research is vital if we are to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of older people. We must ensure that the findings of this research inform policy and practice in order to improve people’s lives as they age. Getting the views of older people on what matters to them and discovering what changes would make a difference in their lives is essential. As Minister I am working to ensure that the needs of older people are heard and that as a country we are in a position to respond to those needs”
Speaking about the initiative, Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, HSE National Director, Health and Wellbeing said:
“Tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experience of this key demographic is vital as we aim to put in place services that will efficiently meet the needs of our changing population in the future. With the number of those aged 65 and over projected to increase by 167% to 1.42 million people by 2046, this demographic is growing approximately 20,000 a year and will have increased by 111,200 people in 2022. It is vital we engage and capture their views and experiences.”
“However, while an increasing and older population brings with it so much opportunities, equally within an ageing population come increased prevalence in chronic disease and disabilities. As people grow older, additional challenges relating to housing, employment and financial security, also exist. It is vitally important to understand these issues so that we can take action now to better support people to age well” added Dr O’Keeffe.
Dr Breda Smyth, HSE Project Lead of the HaPAI continued:
“A key deliverable of the HaPAI is the development of a sustainable indicator set for positive ageing in Ireland to provide the systematic monitoring of older people’s health and wellbeing outcomes. This is the second Research Fund and Awards Call since the HSE launched the first Research Fund and Awards Call in 2015 to support research projects in this area.”
Details of the Research Strategy and the Research Fund and Awards Call on Ageing 2017 are available at: www.hse.ie/Positive-Ageing