Northern Ireland’s largest ever public health research project, ‘NICOLA’ – the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing – is hoping to provide the basis for future Government policy by following the lives of 8,500 over 50s as they grow older.
The Queen’s University-led project, supported by groups such as the Public Health Agency and the Commissioner for Older People of Northern Ireland, will randomly select over 50s from across Northern Ireland over the next 18-months. The findings will leave a lasting legacy for society by enabling policy makers to base Government strategy upon research.
Northern Ireland is undergoing an ageing revolution. Today there are more people aged under 16 than over 65. By 2037 that will have completely reversed with predictions that there will be 122,000 more over 65s than under 16s.
Potential participants in NICOLA will be contacted by letter and then approached by representatives from Ipsos MORI, the leading market research company which Queen’s University has appointed to conduct the home interviews. Everyone involved with NICOLA will carry ID clearly identifying their role with the project. All data collected by NICOLA will remain confidential. Researchers will not have access to personal information.