Number of over 50s to skyrocket

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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 Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council will increase by 24,306, rising from just 34% of the population to 44%.

The 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 three-fold to 7,609 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 770 people randomly selected over-50s from the Lisburn 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 450 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 is supported by the Public Health Agency, the Commissioner for Older People of Northern Ireland, Age NI and the Northern Ireland Executive.