Wicklow invited to discuss proposed €40 million investment
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s (ASI) Wicklow Branch is calling on local public representatives to discuss a proposed investment of €40 million towards community supports for people with dementia which has been outlined in the ASI’s Pre-Budget Submission 2018.
The Pre-Budget document, ‘Dementia Care Begins at Home – Building a Community of Care’, 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.
The event will be taking place at the Lily of the Valley Day Centre, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow on Friday, September 22nd from 11am to 12pm and provides an opportunity for local politicians to visit an ASI Day Care centre to meet staff and members of the County Wicklow Branch, and learn more about why investment is needed in community supports.
The €40 million Budget 2018 ask is broken down as follows: €35 million to develop and expand home care services; €2.31 million to roll out a Dementia Adviser service across Ireland; €1.92 million to provide Dementia Care Coordinators in every Local Health Office; and €852,000 for a Dementia Friendly Communities project across Ireland.
A video ‘Building a Community of Care’ has also been launched by the ASI which features Vice-Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG), Kathy Ryan. In this video, Kathy, who was diagnosed with younger on-set Alzheimer’s in January 2014, speaks about how her challenges have increased since last year and how the public needs to drive home to the Government that dementia care begins at home.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland Wicklow Branch Chair, Lisa Mellon said:
“It is estimated that almost 1,500 people have dementia in Wicklow 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.
“There is an urgent need for current home care support services to be enhanced to meet the needs of 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 and for people getting information about dementia in their own homes. However, there are only eight of these advisers serving the whole country. People in Wicklow do not currently have access to the vital service of a Dementia Adviser. This has to change.
“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 Home Care Supports, Dementia Advisers, Dementia Care Coordinators and Dementia Friendly Communities a priority in Budget 2018.”
● Link to the Pre-Budget Submission 2018
● Link to the video
● Link to the petition
For all media enquiries, please contact The Alzheimer Society of Ireland Communications Manager Cormac Cahill on 086 0441 214.
Notes to the Editor:
Pre-Budget Submission 2018 asks:
• €35 million to develop and expand home care services
While the National Dementia Strategy includes limited funding for Intensive Home Care Packages for people with dementia, there is an urgent need for current home care support services to be enhanced. This is necessary to meet the needs of the majority of people with dementia who want to live at home in a familiar environment.
• €2.31 million to roll out a Dementia Adviser service across Ireland
Dementia Advisers support individuals and their families throughout their dementia journey. In the absence of a pathway of care their advice and support is crucial. There are only eight Dementia Advisers covering 13 counties and demand is increasing, fuelled by a growth in awareness due to the HSE’s Understand Together campaign.
• €1.92 million to provide Dementia Care Coordinators in every Local Health Office
Good dementia care involves case management. The National Dementia Strategy includes a priority action of a key worker to coordinate the care of each person with dementia and promote their continuity of care, but this action has not received any funding.
• €852,000 for a Dementia Friendly Communities project across Ireland
The National Dementia Strategy emphasises the need for a ‘whole community response’ to dementia. Examples of Dementia Friendly Community supports include Alzheimer Cafés, social clubs, arts-based activities, family carer training and peer-led support groups.
• The number of people with dementia in Ireland is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, from 55,000 today to 113,000 in 2036.
• Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions which cause changes and damage to the brain.
• Dementia is progressive. There is currently no cure. Dementia is not simply a health issue but a social issue that requires a community response.
• The majority of people with dementia (63%) live at home in the community. Over 180,000 people in Ireland are currently or have been carers for a family member or partner with dementia with many more providing support and care in other ways.
• Each year over 4,000 people develop dementia. That’s at least 11 people every day and anyone can get dementia - even people in their 30s/40s/50s.
• 1 in 10 people diagnosed with dementia in Ireland are under 65.
• The overall cost of dementia care in Ireland is just over €1.69 billion per annum; 48% of this is attributable to family care; 43% is accounted for by residential care; formal health and social care services contribute only 9% to the total cost
• Figures referenced to Cahill, S. & Pierce, M. (2013) The Prevalence of Dementia in Ireland