Supporting Aging in the 21st Century (SAge21)


One of the major successes of modern Irish society is the greater number of older people living health, active and fulfilled lives across their life course. People aged 65 years and older are the fastest growing sector of our population and while the vast majority age well, increased age is associated with a decline in physical and cognitive reserve and an increase in co-morbidities.

We in the Supported Ageing in 21st Century (SAge21) group integrate education and clinical research to improve the experiences and outcomes of older people and their families across the aging life course. Our research activity encompasses healthy ageing, people living with multi-morbidity, frailty, dementia, advanced care planning and quality end-of life.

The group brings together academic and clinical partners with older people and their carers to address ‘wicket problems’ facing our ageing communities. Through our transdisciplinary research, we generate, apply and embed research evidence into clinical practice across care settings. Our professional development research has informed national gerontological nursing curriculum and contributes to the development of the gerontological workforce capacity and capability at a local and national level.

Aims & Objectives

The two major themes in our research are

Living and Dying Well within Age-attuned Services and Environments

Our objectives are to generate and translate research into practice to enhance well being and provision of compassionate care to meet the needs of older persons up to and including end of life.

Gerontological Workforce: Capacity, Capability & Sustainability

Our objectives are to develop and test interventions and pathways to build gerontological  workforce capability and capacity. Our activity encompasses recruitment, retention, safe staffing levels and patient sensitive outcomes within older adult services.

Scaling Up The Family Carer Decision Support Intervention: A Transnational Effectiveness-Implementation Evaluation.

Funder EU joint programme on Neurodegenerative Disease(JPND)

An international multisite trial of the Family Carer Decision Support (FCDS) Intervention. The FCDS intervention has been designed to inform family carers about end-of-life care options available to a person living with advanced dementia. April 2019 – ongoing (36 months duration)

Further details;

Implementing Evidence Based Guidance for Dementia Palliative Care

Funder Health Research Board - Applied Partnership Awards, 2018

This project develops and test the implementation of best practice clinical guidelines Promoting Excellence in End-of-life Care for People with Dementia in care home settings. The guidelines focus on guidance for pain, hydration & nutrition and medication management on dementia palliative care. The project utilises participatory action research and implementation science frameworks.

Further details;

Independent Evaluation of National Dementia Strategy and the National Dementia Strategy Implementation Plan

Funder Health Service Executive, 2018

The Health Service Executive (HSE) commissioned Ipsos Mori in partnership with School of nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork (UCC) to undertake an Evaluation of the Impact of the National Dementia Strategy (NDS). This project utilised a realistic framework to evaluate the strategy and its implementation. Six broad outcomes were identified in the report.

Further details;

Dementia and Loneliness Policy Position Paper

Funder Alzheimer Society Ireland, 2018

Loneliness is a complex phenomenon that impacts on both mental and physical health especially in people living with dementia. The Alzheimer Society Ireland funded an interdisciplinary team to explore the Complexity of Dementia and Loneliness in Ireland. Qualitative research was conducted with People living with dementia (PLWD). Findings reported that the maintenance of social connection aids in fostering a sense of self-worth and self-management, which in turn mitigates feelings of

Further details;

A Review Of Diagnostic and Post-Diagnostic Processes and Pathways For Younger-Onset Dementia

Funder HSE National Dementia Office, 2019  

Young onset dementia is defined as dementia onset before the age of 65 years and it is estimated to affects approximately 4000 people in Ireland. The project provides a comprehensive review of young onset dementia management pathways from national and international literature and stakeholder perspectives.

Further details;


Projects: Gerontological Workforce

The Education-Career Pathway in Older Adult Nursing (ECHO) collaboration with Kings College London

Funder Burdett Trust, UK 2017

 Nurse turnover in older adult services, especially among early career-nurses is disproportionally high. The project developed and tested of a multicomponent education-career pathway to promote retention. Preliminary results demonstrated a positive impact on gerontological knowledge and confidence and high levels of intention to stay in gerontological nursing.

 Further details;

Job Characteristics, Lifestyle Behaviours and Physical Health of Nurses working in Ireland

Funding:  School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC

Physical activity is vital for health, in Ireland, at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week) is the recommendation for people aged 18- 64 years. Only 9% of nurses reported leisure-time physical activity levels at the recommended amount.

 Further details;

Developing a National Gerontological Nurse Education Framework: systematic review and  qualitative inquiry 

Funder Health Service Executive, 2016

Gerontological workforce capacity and capability are vital to delivering aged attuned services. Articulating clear gerontological nurse frameworks based on international evidence and stakeholder involvement identified six domains for professional development. 

 Further details;



Professor Corina Naughton

Areas of interest: Frailty, reducing hospital associated decline (HAD) and Gerontological workforce development


Dr Nicola Cornally

Areas of interest:  Dementia Palliative Care, Contemporary issues in End-of-Life Care, Pain Assessment and Management in Older Persons and Professional Development in Gerontological Nursing


Dr Irene Hartigan

Areas of interest: stroke, dementia, psychosocial wellbeing adaptation, delirium 


Dr Teresa Wills

Ares of Interest; ageing and physical wellbeing, obesity



Ms Patricia Fehin

Areas of Interest: Gerontological nurse Education; legal and ethical issues in gerontology


Dr Caroline Kilty

Areas of interest: Dementia, younger onset dementia, mental health and the older adult.


Dr Vera McCarty

Areas of interest:  ageing workers, ageing and physical wellbeing




Mary J Foley (Clinical Doctorate) Advanced Nurse Practitioner Rehabilitation & Older Adult Services)

Enablement of older Adults with chronic diseases in an ambulatory care setting

Ali Sisk (MSc Research) A pilot study of a dementia communication intervention based on VERA framework for undergraduate nursing students.

Michelle Clifford (MSc Research) – Developing a Chronic Pain Risk Assessment Tool (C-PRAT) for use with older adults in Long Term Care (Supervisors Dr Nicola Cornally & Dr Serena FitzGerald)

Una Cronin (PhD) Role of Healthcare Assistants in End-of-life Care in Long Term Setting (Supervisors Dr Nicola Cornally & Dr Joan McCarthy)

Tara Kearns (PhD) Development and Evaluation of the Patient-Reported Outcome Measure of Long-Term Residential Care (PRO-LTC) (Supervisors Dr Nicola Cornally & Prof. Geraldine McCarthy)

Eileen Galvin ( MSc by research) Readiness for Hospital Discharge ( Supervisors  Dr Teresa Wills & Dr Mairin O’Mahony)

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex College Road Cork, Ireland , T12 AK54