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Professor Suzanne Cahill

Adjunct Professor (Sch Office - Social Work & Social Policy)


Suzanne Cahill is an Adjunct Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College and holds an honorary Professorship in Dementia Care from the University of Galway. She is also an affiliated Professor in Health and Welfare at the University of Jönköping in Sweden. She holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Science from University College Dublin, a Diploma in Social Studies from the University of Stockholm and a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia. She has over 30 years experience working in the field of Social Work and Social Policy where she has been employed as social work practitioner, college lecturer and researcher in both Ireland and Australia. Her PhD was written on the topic of dementia and the interface between formal and informal caregiving. In Australia, Suzanne has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of people with dementia and for some ten years served on the Management Committee of the Queensland Branch of the Alzheimer's Australia, having been a former Vice President. In Ireland and since 2001, Suzanne has taught courses on ageing and dementia at Trinity College Dublin. She was the Director of a Post-Graduate research programme at Trinity College funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies titled: 'Living with Dementia'. This programme was the first of its kind in Ireland, to train Social Work and Social Policy students with the relevant skills to undertake research into psychosocial aspects of dementia care. Through the programme Suzanne has graduated a large number of Masters and PhD students and has supervised several post-docs. At a policy level, Suzanne was lead author of the research report titled: 'Creating Excellence in Dementia Care' that underpinned Ireland's first National Dementia Strategy. She was also the lead author of a later report titled; 'Future Dementia Care in Ireland; Sharing the Evidence to Mobilise Action'. Over the years, Suzanne has developed educational videos and other toolkits for health service professionals and in 2012 co-founded Ireland's first Alzheimer Café. She has been an active member of the HIQA Committee for National Residential Care Standards and also served on a later Committee established to revise these standards. She is a member of the National Monitoring Group on Dementia established by the Minister for Health to implement the Irish National Dementia Strategy"s key priority areas. Suzanne's current research interests include human rights and dementia, young-onset dementia, chronic disease management and dementia and formal and informal caregiving. Her work has been published in a wide range of medical and social science journals including: the Australian Journal of Social Issues, the Australian-Asian Journal on Ageing, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Ageing and Mental Health, Age and Ageing, Ageing in Society, the Australian Journal of Family Studies, Technology and Disability, Alzheimer's disease and Associated Disorders, Research on Ageing, Australian Social Work and the Scandinavian Journal for Social Medicine. For over two decades Suzanne has served on the Editorial Board of the journal Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. In 2018, she authored a book titled: Dementia and Human Rights and in 2020, she wrote an Irish-based book titled: 'Perspectives on the Person with Dementia and Family Caregiving in Ireland'. More recently she along with her colleagues, Dr Fiona Kelly and Dr Helen Rochford Brennan were commissioned by Jessica Kingsley to write a new book on human rights and dementia. This new practice guide due for publication in December 2023, where contemporary case studies are used to operationalize human rights concerns, will be of interest to a broad audience.
 An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long Stay Residential Care
 Evaluation of Genio Dementia Programme
 Research Recommendations for Dementia and Home Design for Ireland looking at new build and retrofitting homes from a Universal Design Approach
 Post-Graduate research in dementia care
 Creating an Evidence Base to Develop a National Dementia Strategy for Ireland

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Details Date
Member of Department of Health's National Monitoring and Implementation Committee on Ireland's National Dementia Strategy 2015-2021
Member of Department of Health's Working Group on National Dementia Strategy 2013-2014
Member of HIQA Advisory Group for the revision of the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland 2013
Co-Founder and Chairperson of Donnybrook (Dublin) Alzheimer's Cafe 2012-2013
Member of EngAge - Trinity Ageing Consortium 2012-2013
Member of the Ageing Well Network 2007-2013
Chair of National Dementia Advisory Committee 2010-2011
Steering Committee Member Trinity Consortium in Ageing 2008-2010
Working Group Member on Restraint in Designated Centres for Older People (Department of Health and Children) 2010 on
Working Group Member (HIQA) on the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People 2007-2008
Chairperson and Member of Working Group (HSE) on Residential Services for the Person with Dementia 2006-2007
Steering Committee Member of the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, St James Hospital 1999-2007
Advisory Committee Member of the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, St James Hospital 1999-2007
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
French Fluent Medium Basic
Irish Fluent Medium Basic
Swedish Basic Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Interdem Member 2005
The Gerontological Society of America
Cahill, S., Bielsten, T. and Zarit, S.H., (2023). experiences from Research on Aging, 45(3-4), pp.385-395., Developing a Framework for the support of informal caregivers: Experiences from Sweden Ireland and the United States of America, Research on Aging, 45, (4), 2023, p385 - 395, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Cahill,S., Personhood dementia literacy and the causes and consequences of Alzheimer's disease fear , International Psychogeriatrics , 2021, Journal Article, ACCEPTED
Cahill, S , New analytical tools and frameworks to understand dementia: What can a human-rights lens offer? , Ageing and Society , 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Cahill, S., Perspectives on the Person with Dementia and Family Caregiving in Ireland, Manchester, Peter Lang, 2021, 1 - 147pp, Book, IN_PRESS
Fox, Siobhán ; McGowan, Rachel ; Kilty, Caroline, Young Onset Dementia: A Review of Diagnostic and Post-diagnostic Processes and Pathways, Tullamore, National Dementia Office, 2020, Report, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Cahill, WHO's Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia (2017-2025): Some opportunities and challenges , Ageing and Mental Health , 2019, p197 - 199, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Cahill, Suzanne, Peer Review on"Improving reconciliation of work and long-term care", 2018, 1-9, Report, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Cahill , Dementia and Human Rights , First , United Kingdom, Policy Press , 2018, 1 - 238pp, Notes: [], Book, PUBLISHED
Donnelly S, Cahill S, O'Neill D, Care Planning Meetings for Older People: Issues for Policy, Multidisciplinary Practice and Patient Participation, Practice, 30, (1), 2018, p53 - 71, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Cahill Suzanne, Diaz-Ponce Ana , Quality of Life of Members of a Religious Community living in Long Term Care , Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith , 69, (4), 2017, p206 - 216, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text

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Aida Suárez-González, Gill Livingston, Lee-Fay-Low, Suzanne Cahill, Niamh Hennelly, Walter D. Dawson, Wendy Weidner, Martina Bocchetta, Cleusa P. Ferri, Jordi A Matias-Guiu, Suvarna Alladi, Christine Wayua Musyimi, Adelina Comas-Herrera, Impact and mortality of COVID-19 on people living with dementia: cross-country report, International Long-Term Care Policy Network, 2020, Report, PUBLISHED
Hennelly, N., Cahill, S., The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people living with dementia in Ireland, International Long Term Care Policy Network, 2020, Report, PUBLISHED
Eamon O'Shea, Suzanne Cahill and Maria Pierce , Developing and Implementing Dementia Policy in Ireland , Ireland , December , 2017, p1 - 144, Report, PUBLISHED
Cahill, S., O'Nolan, C., O'Caheny, D., & Boberksy, A., An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long Stay Residential Care , DSIDC , DSIDC , January , 2015, p1 - 53, Report, PUBLISHED
Pierce, M., Cahill, S., & O'Shea, E., Prevalence and Projections of Dementia in Ireland, 2011 Report prepared for Genio Ltd , November , 2014, p1 - 27, Report, PUBLISHED
Cahill, S., Pierce, M., & Bobersky, A. , An Evaluation of Flexible Respite Options of the Living Wel with Dementia Project in Stillorgan Blackrock , Genio LtD Mullingar , December , 2014, p1 - 41, Report, PUBLISHED
Cahill, S., Pierce, M., & Bobersky, A, An Evaluation Report on the Dementia Support Worker Initiative of the Five Steps to Living Well with Dementia in South Tipperary , Genio LtD , December , 2014, p1 - 51, Report, PUBLISHED
Dementia and Quality of Life Issues in Older People in, editor(s)Phellas, Constantinos , Aging in European Societies, 2013, [Ponce-Diaz, A. & Cahill, S.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Cahill, S., O'Shea, E & Pierce, M. , Future Dementia Care in Ireland: Sharing the Evidence to Mobilise Action , Trinity College Dublin , June , 2012, p1 - 36, Report, PUBLISHED
Cahill, S., O'Shea, E., & Pierce, M., Creating Excellence in Dementia Care, Dublin, Ireland, January, 2012, 1-168, Report, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Affiliated Professor of health and welfare, Institute of Gerontology, Jönköping University 2019-2021
Honorary Award of Professorship in Dementia Care from NUI Galway 2018-2023
Council of Europe Scholarship 1985-1986
PhD Scholarship Award The University of Queensland 1991
My research interests are in the area of (i) human rights and dementia, (ii) how social policy interfaces with formal and informal caregiving (iii) GPs, diagnosis and disclosure of dementia and (iv) quality of life and quality of care issues. I have published articles, book chapters and many different reports on these topics. I have a commitment to translational research and to ensuring that research findings are made available to lay people and used to help improve the quality of life for all those affected by dementia.