Meet the CARDI Fellows: Aisling O'Halloran
- Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
The CARDI Leadership Programme into Ageing Research funds and supports a new generation of leaders in ageing research in Ireland, North and South.
The programme is funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Northern Ireland and The Atlantic Philanthropies.
The new CARDI Fellows were announced at the inaugural meeting of the CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research in Belfast (Monday 15 Sept 2014). In this series of articles CARDI introduces the Fellows:
Dr Aisling O'Halloran
Dr Aisling O’Halloran holds a Ph. in cardiovascular disease and genetics from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and a BA (Mod) in Natural Science, specialising in genetics, from Trinity College Dublin. She joined TILDA as a post-doctoral fellow in health research in January 2012, where her research interests included all aspects of frailty, resilience and falls, with an interest in characterising the physiological, cognitive and behavioural factors which predispose or protect older people to these outcomes. She is the research lead on both the Frailty Working Group and the Biomarker Working Group within TILDA. Previously Dr. O’Halloran was the Senior Researcher on the Falls Prevention Strand at the Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) Centre at St. James's Hospital in Dublin (2010-2011). She has published in high impact journals and presented at scientific and medical conferences both nationally and internationally.
Dr O’Halloran’s research as a CARDI Fellow is on the theme of frailty and older people in Ireland, North and South. Frailty is a driver of functional and cognitive decline, predicting multi-morbidity, disability, increased health care utilisation and mortality in older people. However, frailty can be ameliorated through early detection and intervention. This study will use data from TILDA and NICOLA to track transitions along the frailty spectrum from one wave of the surveys to another. This will help to identify risk factors for frailty in older people with the aim of developing new evidence-based targets for the early detection of frailty and suitable interventions. It will also seek to develop estimates of future healthcare needs related to frailty.
Frailty rates rise with age and 36% of people aged 80+ in Northern Ireland and 15% in the Republic of Ireland are frail. This research will raise awareness and deepen understanding of both the levels frailty and frailty prevention in Ireland, North and South. The findings will be of interest to researchers, healthcare professionals, policy makers and older people’s groups.