Alzheimers Society makes call on local election candidates to champion dementia services

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

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The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) is calling on all candidates in the local elections to promote dementia-inclusive communities if successfully elected.

The society says this support from local representatives is desperately needed to help the 711 people living with dementia and their struggling families in Laois.

The ASI says it evidence to prove that people living with dementia and their families are still dealing with inadequate services and supports. It says the 2018 mapping of dementia-specific services in Ireland shows that not only does access to community dementia-specific services vary depending on where you live, but no county has even a minimum level of dementia support.

The society says there are serious gaps in the services provided in Laois, with none of the following services available according to the mapping project carried out by ASI and National Dementia Office (NDO): Alzheimer’s café, daycare centre, dementia assistive technology library, dementia cognitive therapies, dementia counselling service.

It says that with dementia a growing issue and the majority of those with dementia living in the community, there is a need for a ‘whole community response’ to dementia. 

The society believes local councillors are working every day in their communities and are witnessing the issues families are facing so that is why The ASI is calling on local candidates, if elected, to:

- Sign up and become a Dementia: Understand Together Community Champion at understandtogether.ie;
- Engage with local dementia service providers to identify facilities where dementia inclusive initiatives can be held and link with other Community Champions to offer these;
- Encourage public facing staff e.g. libraries, to participate in dementia-awareness training

Alzheimer Society of Ireland CEO is Pat McLoughlin.

“People with dementia and their family carers need their newly elected local representatives to play a key role in championing their rights in the years ahead and a community-wide response is needed to ensure that struggling families get better support and services. Dementia is one of the biggest health issues that this country faces. The sad reality is that people with dementia and their families are really struggling in each and every community in Ireland because they are being faced with inadequate services and supports,” he says.

The Laois branch of the Society is trying to raise awareness of facilities and try to get posters up in as many places as possible throughout Laois. It is looking for volunteers to put up posters in their local area. To help contact Jacintha on 087 2511300

For any information on dementia contact Ann Munnelly on 057 866 3398/086 8372168 Home-care Coordinator 47 Main Street, Portlaoise, Co Laois R32 VRX8 Email laois.branch@alzheimer.ie