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Professor Suzanne Cahill

(Sch Office - Social Work & Social Policy)


Suzanne Cahill is an Adjunct Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College. She also holds an Honorary Professorship in Dementia Care from the University of Galway and is an affiliated Professor in Health and Welfare at the University of Jönköping in Sweden. She has a Bachelors Degree and Masters 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 35 years experience working in the field of Social Work and Social Policy where she has been employed as practitioner, lecturer and researcher. Her PhD written in Australia was on dementia, social policy and the interface between formal and informal caregiving. On returning to Ireland in 1999, Suzanne set up The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre - a Centre of Excellence at St James Hospital Dublin and for close to 20 years as National Director, she developed its educational, research and information services. During this period she also taught courses on Ageing and Dementia to Social Work and Social Policy undergraduates. More recently she was awarded a large grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies to establish a programme of post-graduate research in dementia care and psycho-social interventions. This programme based in Trinity College was the first of its kind in Ireland, to train post-graduate students with the skills required 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 Post-Docs. During her career in Australia and Ireland, Suzanne has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of people living with dementia. She was the lead author of the research report commissioned by the government to underpin Ireland's first National Dementia Strategy and the subsequent report that followed designed to raise awareness. She was co-founder of Ireland's first Alzheimer Cafe and has written and produced several educational videos and other toolkits for health service professionals. She is the sole author of two books recently published (2018 and 2020). The first concerns Dementia and Human Rights and the second addresses the topic of Family Caregiving and Dementia in Ireland. Her new book - a Practice Guide for Health Service Professionals, commissioned by Jessica Kingsley and co-authored with colleagues Dr Helen Rochford Brennan and Professor Fiona Kelly is due for publication later this year. Suzanne's research interests straddle four inter-related areas namely: (i) young-onset dementia; (ii) quality of life and residential care, (iii) chronic disease management, GPs and dementia and (iv) autonomy, capacity, personhood and human rights. 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. In recent years Suzanne has been a regular contributor to the Irish Times opinion pieces on dementia and ageing related topics.
 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.