Sarah Bowman (Host)

Sarah  Bowman (Host)

Director of Strategic Engagement
Trinity Centre for Ageing and Intellectual Disability
Trinity College Dublin

Location Dublin, Ireland


  • Great comments. I have enjoyed reading them - thanks. I remember when my first child was born and my husband suggested I go for a walk and take some time for myself. I cried putting my coat on, but having a partner who saw me as both a new mother and as someone who also needed care was a significant moment for me in my postpartum recovery and strengthened our...

  • Many thanks, Yvonne, for the kind comment. I've really enjoyed engaging with learners in this course as there is an incredible amount of knowledge from significant hands-on experience.

  • I definitely have white coat syndrome and I suppose it's because the experience is that I go to the doctor when I'm feeling sick as opposed to more regular engagement to better manage health, build the relationship or even improve well-being. It's a pity, really, because there could be so many opportunities for patients and the medical community to be...

  • Many thanks, David! Great to have links to health policy / strategy documents.

  • Really good comment about the handover between staff and how much of caring is about building that caring relationship with the individual.

  • Hi Folks. What a great community of learners we have in the course! I'm looking forward to the discussions this course generates.

  • Great discussions here on what constitutes discrimination. Discrimination is treatment of an individual or group "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated" [Cambridge Dictionaries Online]. It prevents or obstructs opportunities or privileges that are available to others.

    When I am taking the train or bus, I will ask an expectant...

  • I had a similar experience with my father and doctors in France and Ireland saying his condition was age related (e.g. what do you expect at your age / normal wear and tear for a man your age). We vigorously questioned this and it turned out that he had a very serious infection that was introduced with a new pacemaker and the treatment he had received - both...

  • Dan, I've never heard this expression but I love the analogy

  • Hi Hilary, links to the research can be found beneath the article.

  • Over the past few years, I've been focusing on discipline rather than motivation .... as motivation comes and goes but discipline requires consistency. When I don't feel like being active, for example, I remind myself that motivation is fleeting but discipline is not.

  • I love that Janette ... "self believe and trust in others sustains her"

  • Nice!

  • Fantastic!

  • Thank you for sharing this!

  • Love the idea of treats!

  • At bedtime each night, the kids and I play a 10-minute game called "What makes you happy?" It's usually pretty silly but gratitude works its way in too when one kid tells another that s/he makes another happy. I hope this habit of daily reflection and gratitude will stay with them. It keeps nightmares away too!

  • Love this thread! I firmly believe "You are one decision away from a totally different life" and I love this reminder. Great conversation, folks.

  • Great quote!

  • Yes! It is this sharing which makes the course come alive!

  • Thanks Elaine - great comment! I try for BCS (Best Case Scenario) rather than WCS (Worst Case Scenario) thinking! It's not always easy but worrying can easily become excessive and feels like a bad habit to me as it rarely helps!

  • I swim almost daily and find that does wonders for my mood!

  • There is quite a lot of research on the effects of early childhood experiences on health, wellbeing and quality of life - in later life. These experiences do affect us! There is also research on how forced retirement / redundancy impacts happiness and mental health. Friendship, too, matters and I wonder if it might help Angie to discuss how we make and nurture...

  • Ann, chronic pain definitely influences happiness, wellbeing and quality of life. An injury teaches us so much! Take good care of you!

  • Me too!

  • Stella, your brave post inspires others. I agree that this course (and thinking about Ageing) draws out strong, emotive responses. Some happy, some sad, some overwhelming. Reflecting on those feelings and possibly sharing your observations with others (if you feel comfortable doing so) creates a community of learners who benefit from one another.

  • Great comment, Dawn! Looking forward to learning from you and others on what works.

  • An interesting report was launched this week as part of Habitat III activities which focuses on Ageing and the built environment:

  • Hi Stella, Jacqueline and Sharon, if you're interested in the research questions being asked and answered, you might take a look at TILDA's website where the research is housed: TILDA has a Knowledge Translation Working Group (Government) and a Community Engaged Working Group (General Public) to ensure that the...

  • Anna, great comment.

  • Marie, you might want to take a look at ELSA:
    TILDA, like ELSA, is part of a family of longitudinal studies. I recently came across another website in the UK which is focused on public participation in research: Great suggestions, Karen.

  • Great discussion, Irene and Amanda.

    TILDA benefited from an intensive four years of development and piloting between 2006 and 2009 and the study went into field in 2009. Over the pilot phase, the validity and feasibility of all tests and tools was carried out. All questions were drawn from existing validated questions, in consultation with the Study of...

  • Great comments!

  • That's great, Chrissie! I agree - having that figure in mind to form a habit is encouraging!

  • This is a very important question, Michele, whether our cities and towns are becoming more pedestrian friendly. The answer is yes and no. Major cities like New York, London and Paris, for example, understand the power of walkability. It's not just good for people, it's good for business too. Those who use active transportation tend to spend locally. On the...

  • Yes, thank you all

  • Hilary, this is an incredible technique and one that I will share with friends and colleagues. Thank you.

  • It's so important to recognize all we are doing well. Great list, Michele!

  • Lovely discussion

  • Wow, love this idea!

  • When we moved back to Ireland from the United States (Port Townsend, WA), I wondered how much walking I did daily. We don't drive in Ireland and we rely on transit and a walkable community. On average, I hit 12,000 steps per day. I would have underestimated my level of activity because it occurs while I'm doing other things - working, taking the kids to...

  • Sarah Bowman (Host) replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    I enjoyed this conversation.

  • Susan, great post!

  • An article by Professor Ian Robertson appeared in today's Irish Times. It focuses on developing healthy habits and it's worth a read:

  • Interesting. I like how many of the discussions here focus on the differences between happiness and contentment. If happiness is transitory, maybe it's those longer periods of contentment that speak to peace of mind and well-being.

  • Thanks Jane. The distinction between consumption and experience is important for me as well.

  • Interesting observation, Keith. I believe that intergenerational communities - that we don't age-out of - are the best for all ages.

  • As a public engagement specialist, I'm always interested in who is taking part in activities and why. Yesterday, I facilitated a workshop on social isolation and loneliness in rural communities and one of the topics that emerged was around the language and methods used to engage males. Participants spoke candidly about success with purpose-driven engagement...

  • Brian, I am going to remember that saying by your father - it's wonderful!

  • Thank you, Jeanette, it's a really interesting idea that we might jump in and out of feeling old - depending on circumstances - and that I might feel older today than I will in five years.

  • Slainte from Dublin!

  • Remember that this course will remain open for all registered learners. You can continue to come back and read/add comments.

  • Way to go Keith! Making every moment count!

  • Me too!

  • Fantastic Janine!

  • Thanks Ian - words to live by!

  • Congratulations, Vivienne! Well done. Totally agree - unstoppable!

  • The report referenced above was by Professor Alan Barrett and Dr Elish Kelly - neither of whom are educators in this course.

    This course focuses on the importance of staying connected to your communities and there have been comments by educators encouraging older adults to vote and advocate for age friendly policies.

  • In case you missed it, I'm going to copy another post here:

    "When Trinity decided to build the MOOC, they brought together a Council external to TCD of older adults through Age Friendly Ireland and asked them what they wanted to learn. They outlined the course and then the researchers responded. I love this model because Ageing is such a massive topic and...

  • Thanks, all, for the feedback.

    Lauren, when the course runs again, participant's feedback is reviewed and used to update the course. Thanks for asking.

    Sandra, while the course runs for 5 weeks, not everyone can complete the course in 5 weeks. We have thousands of learners involved in previous weeks - adding in comments and interacting with one...

  • I've forwarded on your comments to the online team in case there was some glitch that was hiding us from one another.

    Maybe scale has something to do with it? When I look at who I'm following, I have 7+ pages of Educator comments, but given the tremendous feedback from participants in the course - sometimes thousands of comments on one module alone -...