Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Health
National Dementia Strategy
The National Dementia Strategy recommends that the HSE considers the provision of dementia advisors, based on the experience of demonstrator sites, with an appropriate number of such advisors to be dedicated to the needs of those with early onset dementia. In this context, an evaluation of the Dementia Adviser Service, which was published in September 2018, recommends the continuation and expansion of the service to ensure equity of access countrywide.
There are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties in the Dementia Adviser Service established by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in 2014, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE since 2016. €400,000 in funding has been allocated by the HSE in each of the last 3 years towards the cost of the service, and the HSE has agreed to continue to provide this level of funding for the service in 2019 and future years.
The HSE provides approximately €7.9 million for Dementia-Specific Intensive Homecare Packages, which facilitate people with dementia who have complex needs to remain living at home. Since the introduction of these packages at the end of 2014, 443 dementia-specific intensive homecare packages have been delivered, with 201 active at the end of March 2019.
People with dementia can also avail of standard Home Support Services for Older People, on the basis of need and within the resources available. A total of €426 million has been provided for home support services this year, delivering over 17.9 million home support hours to over 53,000 people.
In addition to the above services, the HSE granted €12.68 million in 2018 to Section 39 organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers.
The Department of Health has also secured €6.26 million in Dormant Accounts funding for a range of additional projects being implemented by the National Dementia Office projects including a post-diagnostic support pathway project, a dementia diagnostic project and a national network of memory technology resource rooms.
The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE, including for measures under the National Dementia Strategy, will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.
As a response to the challenges facing people with dementia and their families and carers, the National Dementia Strategy was launched in December 2014. The Strategy contains 35 priority and additional actions and its implementation is being led by the National Dementia Office in the HSE. Progress made to date and future plans, are recorded in the mid-term review of the Strategy's implementation, which was published in May 2018.
In 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a project to map dementia-specific community-based services and supports. It provides a useful snapshot and baseline study into what, where and when dementia services are being offered, including in those counties that currently do not have access to a dementia adviser. The study has also been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website at . This allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.
The National Dementia Strategy requires the HSE to consider the provision of dementia advisers, based on the experience of demonstrator sites. In this context, an evaluation of the Dementia Adviser Service, which was published in September 2018, recommends the continuation and expansion of the service to ensure equity of access countrywide.
There are nine Dementia Advisers working in the Dementia Adviser Service established by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) in mid-2014. The service covers 12 counties: Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Limerick, parts of Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Dublin.
Seven of the 9 posts have been funded by the HSE since 2016, while the Mayo post is funded by Community Action on Dementia Mayo. €400,000 has been allocated by the HSE in each of the last 3 years towards the cost of the service and a commitment has been made to continue this funding in 2019 and in future years.
The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE, including for further expansion of the Dementia Adviser Service, will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.