20 November 2023
We often associate old age with wrinkles, increased frailty and a giant pill box. But we need to challenge that. Growing old is a fact of life; unhealthy ageing isn’t.
In Monday night’s episode of the television series 10 Things to Know About… Ageing Well on RTÉ One, the programme examines how nutrition can help reduce age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, thereby reducing frailty. We will hear about the causes of delirium and meet the researchers who want to raise awareness of the condition within healthcare to help reduce misdiagnoses with dementia.
Finally, the programme investigates a disease so prevalent that you could fill Croke Park with the people in Ireland who suffer from it. Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of blindness in Ireland. We catch up with the researchers working to find the causes of this disease and hope to develop cures for it.
There are two Teagasc participants in tonight’s programme. Dr Sinead McCarthy, who leads Teagasc’s consumer behaviour research programme, in relation to food and health says: “We are never too young to start thinking about healthy eating for healthy aging and the benefits of a healthy diet to prevent age-related illnesses.”
Dr Caoileann Murphy, a postdoctoral fellow in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Teagasc Research Leaders 2025 Programme, who joins us in this episode from her research fellowship in Australia says: “Beginning around our forties, we typically start losing about 1% of our muscle mass and 2 to 3% of our strength each year. Over time, this can increase the risk of frailty, falls, and physical disability. I am currently working on a project involving Australian Catholic University and Teagasc investigating if a nutritional supplement containing potassium bicarbonate could help slow muscle loss during ageing in women.”
Tune into tonight’s episode ‘10 Things to Know About… Ageing Well’, Monday, 20 November, at 8.30pm on RTÉ One.