Social Exclusion Among Older People in Ireland, North and South

  • Northern Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland

14th April 2014, CARDI

Ward et al


Link to full report

Measuring Old-Age Social Exclusion in a Cross-Border Context

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A new report funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) finds that many older people enjoy good social connections. However, a substantial number are at risk of social exclusion. It also finds that a lack of information about social exclusion hinders the effectiveness of policies and programmes aimed to help those older people most in need.

The all-Ireland research funded under CARDI's data-mining grants programme (2013) was led by Dr Kieran Walsh, National University of Ireland, Galway. The research team attempted to measure social exclusion among older people by analysing official data.  

Key findings from the research (Ward et al., 2014)

  • There are many gaps in our knowledge of social exclusion as it affects older people in Ireland, North and South. There is a particular lack of data on issues such as social isolation and loneliness and neighbourhood and community.
  • Where data do exist they tend to be about ownership of items or use of services, not about whether older people are excluded from these things.
  • Older people in ROI are more likely to vote, volunteer and provide care for relatives than those in NI; they are more than twice as likely to go to films and cultural events.
  • Older people in NI have lower incomes than in ROI (Hillyard et al., 2010) but are more likely to have cars and central heating. They may benefit from other public services or may enjoy a lower cost of living than their counterparts in ROI.

The full report and research brief are available through links on this page.