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2012 Pfizer Health Index

A seventh annual review of the Irish populations health perceptions and experience, incorporating a deeper focus on health in old age and attitudes to ageing, specifically among older adults in Ireland. Each of our Pfizer indexes has focussed in depth on a specific demographic group, as well as delving in depth into illness experience and incidences and exploring interaction with medical services. Previous years have looked in greater focus at women, men, and immigrants but the current study has taken a detailed look at over 65s, the group now set to dominate numerically in Ireland in future years. Ageing is largely a positive experience and many evidently re-evaluate their lives and expectations in later years and come to terms with age. Most develop a positive and quite upbeat outlook, despite higher illness incidences. However, independence remains a key requirement and most older adults are quite opposed to the idea of living in a retirement home. The broader health index illustrates a general upswing in health perceptions and hints towards possible end-of-recession optimism. However, it also details a profound collapse in private medical insurance cover and describes a fall-off in footfall to GP surgeries and indeed to private hospitals. The study was released in late september, and has again been generously funded and lead by Pfizer and has been shared with many patient and disease groups, as well as other stakeholders This year it was designed to coincide with positive ageing week, and was jointly launched by Age Action Ireland and Pfizer, and the broadcaster Micheal O’Muircheartaigh.

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