Gerontologists Go To Ireland is a joint project between the Center for Healthy Aging and Shared World Educational Tours. It is a ten-day trip to Ireland intended to introduce North American gerontologists and allied professionals to their colleagues and projects in Ireland. And to introduce Irish gerontologists and allied professionals to their counterparts from North America. The trip will also include a robust tourist element. Therefore, we expect the ratio of gerontological learning versus cultural learning, archeological exploration, tourist activities, and fun to be 40% to 60%.
During the ten-day trip, participants will meet with people in leadership roles in the Irish Aging Network, visit some cutting-edge projects, collaborate with their counterparts on services and supports for older adults taking the best of multiple approaches, and learn each other's theories of change.
While Ireland has a smaller percentage of people over 65, about 13.82% (IndexMundi 2020), as compared to the US, about 16.9% (Statistia 2020), the ratio of people between 20 and 64, in other words, "working age" is nearly identical, about 2.5 to 1 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2021). Yet in 2020, the life expectancy of Ireland for ages over 65 is slightly higher than the US 21 years for women versus 20.7 for the US, and 18.3 years for Irish men 18.3 versus 18.1 years for the US men (UN Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2021).
Gerontologists Go To Ireland will have a unique itinerary, including many of the sites on the 'usual' tour and many others that are a little unusual. In addition, it offers the opportunity to meet some of the most influential and productive people in the field of aging, the real 'doers,' movers, and shakers.
Participants will learn about the unique elements of the Irish approach to aging, support for older adults, caregivers, and caregiving, primarily in the community, which positively impact Irish longevity, morbidity, life satisfaction, and much more. How does having a lifelong national health program benefit older people in Ireland versus the over 65 scheme known as Medicare in the US? In the US, and to a lesser degree, Canada, one of the significant factors causing older adults to move from their own homes is the frailty associated with aging. But is that also the case in Ireland? Ireland has about 1 nursing home bed for 20.23 persons over 65 (The Irish Times 2015). In the US, that number is about 1 for every 10 people over 65 (Care.com 2020). So, where is care given? In the US, about 80% of home-based long-term care is delivered by family or friends.
The trip will include three leaders. From the US, a Ph.D. Gerontologist with experience running a university-based center on aging and the CEO of the Center for Healthy Aging, and an MSW familiar with gerontological program development, operation, and assessment.
*All prices per person. Airfare to and from the country not included. Itinerary subject to change and will solidify over coming weeks.
Friday, May 20, 2022 | Dublin (we recommend you arrive the night before and find accommodations at, or near, the Dublin Airport)
Meet at Dublin Airport (we may want to find somewhere more suitable)
Visit with the Gerontology Program at Trinity College and view the Book of Kells.
Travel west to Westport, Ireland
Saturday, May 21 | Westport, Ireland
Meet with Westport Men’s Shed (older men’s program)
Boat tour (past Island owned by John Lennon) and/or
House and Garden tour
Sunday, May 22 | The Lost Valley (Dollough, Delphi, Leenaun) -- Night in Westport
Tour of Connemara
Meet with Center for Science and Art working on older adults and the arts project
Monday, May 23 | North Mayo -- Night in Westport
Émigré Repatriation Project (older adults returning to Ireland)
The Ceide Fields Centre
Ballinglen Arts Foundation
Tuesday, May 24 | Free Day -- Night in Westport
More Men’s Shed Activities
Community Juice program
Climb Croagh Patrick
Wednesday, May 25 | Sligo, Yeats Country, Clare, or Clare Island -- Night in Westport
The Burren and the Clifts of Moher or
Clare Island -- The Grainne Ualie Story (includes a distillery tour)
Thursday, May 26 | Travel day -- Wake up in Westport
One more meeting at the Men’s Shed
Travel to Dublin
Friday, May 27 | Dublin
Return to Trinity College
Genlo -- Dementia Research
ALONE -- A support program for people aging in the community
SAGE Advocacy -- Older adults supporting older adults
Saturday, May 28 | Dublin
Using the Dublin Pass tour the historic and other sites of the City (we will have a city guide with us)
Sitric in Howth Village
Sunday, May 29 | Dublin
Continue touring Dublin using the Dublin Pass (we will have a city guide with us)
Monday, May 30 | Dublin
What is included?
10 hotel nights, check-in Friday, May 20 to check-out, Monday, May 30.
All meals beginning with lunch Friday, May 20 to breakfast, Monday, May 30.
Taxis if necessary.
All travel to our destination cities and tour sites (which can include trailheads or the beach).
Organizer and accompanying trip leader.
Museum, event, and tour fees.
Professional guides on occasions, which will be specified in the final itinerary.
Here are the exceptions:
Airfare to and from Ireland.
Transfers to and from Dublin Airport. It will be challenging to have a single bus pick-up for everyone if arrival times are very different. However, if you send us your arrival information, we will make an effort to meet you at the airport.
Regarding travel to and from Ireland, we suggest you arrive in Dublin on May 19 or the morning of May 20. There are a large number of overnight flights from the U.S. leaving mid/late evening and arrive the next morning. Plan to depart (unless you are planning an "after-trip") on May 30. If you need help planning your flights let us know and perhaps we can help you choose a flight schedule or preferred airlines.
Transportation. We will travel mostly in a tour coach, usually a 20 seater, while traveling. The bus will comfortably fit our group. We will do our best to find, and confirm, a coach that has wi-fi.
Phone Service. Your cell phone provider in the U.S. may be able to provide you with an affordable package for calling, and receiving, calls from the U.S.
Cancellations & Deposits
- The total cost of your reservation is due 60 days before the trip (Friday, March 21, 2022).
- 60 days or more before the trip (Friday, March 21, 2022) up to 90% of the total cost of the trip will be refunded.
- Between 59 and 30 days before (Saturday, March 22, 2022 and Sunday, April 20, 2022) up to 50% of the total cost of the trip will be refunded.
- The entirety of your payment is non-refundable under 30 days before the trip begins (Monday, April 21, 2022 or later).