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Wednesday, 12th September 2018

Politicians invited to discuss inadequate supports for people with dementia

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The South Louth Branch of the of Ireland’s (ASI) is calling on local public representatives to visit their centre in Drogheda to discuss a proposed investment of €12 million towards community supports for people with dementia which has been outlined in a Pre-Budget submission.

They want to ensure that the Government takes meaningful action on dementia in Budget 2019.

According to a dementia services mapping project carried out by the ASI and the HSE’s National Dementia Office (NDO), not only does access to community dementia-specific services across Ireland vary depending on where you live but no county in Ireland has an acceptable level of dementia support.

The Pre-Budget 2019 document is asking the Government to put appropriate supports in place so people with dementia can remain living in their own homes within their own communities in an environment that is familiar to them.

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The ASI reckons that it will the cost at least €100K to reach minimum level of services for people with dementia in Louth.

The event will be taking place at the Tredagh Day Care Centre, Drogheda on Monday, September 17th from 4.00pm to 5.00pm and will provide an opportunity for local politicians to visit the centre, to meet staff and members of the South Louth Branch, and learn more about why investment is needed in community supports. 

Just like every county in Ireland, Louth is not sufficiently resourced to provide a basic minimum standard of care for people with dementia, it has serious gaps in the services provided.

None of the following services are currently provided: Dementia Assistive Technology Library, Dementia Cognitive Therapy Programmes, Dementia Counselling Service, Dementia In-Home Respite, Dementia Social Clubs and People with Dementia Support Groups.

If Louth is to reach a basic minimum standard of care for people living with dementia, funding must also be put in place to enhance or create the following services: Alzheimer’s Cafes, Dementia Carer Support Group and Dementia Family Carer Programmes. 

There are almost 1,400 people living with dementia in Co Louth. The ASI is looking for the Government to invest €7.415 million for a minimum standard of community services in each county; €2.31 million to roll out a Dementia Adviser service across Ireland; €2.24 million to provide Key Workers in every HSE Local Health Office for the coordinated care of each person with dementia; and €852,000 for Dementia Inclusive Community Coordinators across Ireland. 

The Chair of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland South Louth Branch, Noel Heeney said: “It is estimated that nearly 1,400 people have dementia in Louth and we anticipate that this number will increase over the coming years. We must ensure that all people who have dementia who want to live at home and within their own communities have the right supports and services in place to do so. 

“We must address the unmet need in the county in order to support the majority of people with dementia who want to live at home in a familiar environment. There is also a great need for people with dementia and their families to be given the information and advice in their own community throughout their dementia journey.

“For example, the Dementia Adviser service is an invaluable local community resource for people getting information about dementia in their own homes. However, there are only eight of these advisers serving the whole country. 

“We thank those public representatives who are taking the time to attend this event about dementia care beginning at home. It’s important that the Government makes investing in building communities of care a priority in Budget 2019.”

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