Alzheimer Society: Not a single county in Ireland is providing minimum community care 

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) is calling on the Irish Government to invest €29.3m in urgent infrastructure and community supports for people affected by dementia. The request is outlined in the ASI Pre-Budget Submission.

The ASI submission also states that not one county in Ireland provides people with even a minimum standard of dementia community services and supports.

This is despite the fact that the majority of people with dementia (63%) live at home. According to the ASI the number of people with dementia in Ireland will rise to 113,0005 within the next twenty years.

The current 2020 Programme for Government contains a commitment to implementing the National Dementia Strategy (NDS) which was developed to “improve dementia care so that people with dementia can live well for as long as possible, can ultimately die with comfort and dignity, and can have services and supports delivered in the best way possible”.

However, The Alzheimer Society say that a deepening gap between services and need continues to exist, with the need for services growing, not only among existing service users but also among those who had not previously been in contact with dementia-specific services.

Research by The ASI throughout the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the disproportionate and detrimental impact of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on people with dementia and their families.

As part of the Pre-Budget Submission the ASI is asking government to provide €500,000 to run a Public Brain Health Campaign focused on a number of modifiable risk factors that could prevent up to 40% of dementia cases.

These risk factors were outlined in research conducted by The Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care in 2020.

They include—excessive alcohol consumption, head injury, air pollution, low levels of education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and infrequent social contact.

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