Newry and Mourne’s over 50’s population to jump by 29,000

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Friday, May 29th, 2015
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 Newry, Mourne & Down District Council will increase by 28,585, rising from just 31% of the population to 40%. NICOLA iThe project also noted that official statistics indicate that there will be a dramatic increase in the number of those aged 85 and above living in the local council area, rising over three-fold to 8,618 by 2037. NICOLA – the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing – is seeking to understand the profound implications this ‘ageing revolution’ which will have for society and policy makers. As part of its work ‘NICOLA’, which is Northern Ireland’s largest public health research project,will be following the lives of 618 people randomly selected over-50s from the Newry area. Professor Ian Young, Principal Investigator of the NICOLA Project, said, “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. “Over 400 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 questionnaire and a health assessment which will take place at the new Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility at Belfast City Hospital. The assessments, completed by registered nurses, will include blood pressure readings, brain function (thinking) tests, blood sample collection and a detailed eye examination using equipment not available elsewhere in Northern Ireland. Follow-up interviews will be conducted every two years.
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