Rural dementia sufferers need greater support – Ó Clochartaigh
Dementia sufferers, their families and communities in the West of Ireland need a lot more support according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Speaking after attending the ‘Living with Dementia in Rural Ireland’ conference in NUIG, the Galway West – South Mayo Senator said:
‘Over 48,000 people in Ireland have been diagnosed with dementia, 10% of those living in the West. The national figure is expected to increase to 150,000 by 2040.
‘A lack of training in the health sector to detect dementia in a timely manner, poor transport & communications infrastructure, a lack of funding and social supports for sufferers and their families and an over dependence on anti-psychotic drugs, particularly in residential settings, were some of issues of concern raised at the conference.
‘Much more emphasis needs to be put on breaking the stigma of dementia, in supporting people to stay in their own homes and to plan for their future from the care, legal and a financial perspectives. The government needs to implement the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 as well, to fulfil its commitments in this regard.
‘Home care supports and schemes for renovations must be increased, those suffering with the early onset of dementia who are currently ineligible for assistance as they are under 65 years of age must be addressed as well.
‘More support and training needs to be provided for GP’s also to enable the timely detention of dementia as it can be quite complex and some of the current cognitive tests are not appropriate or conclusive in their findings.
‘Organisations supporting dementia sufferers, carers and their families are also finding it very hard to keep up with the demand for services and this needs to be kept high on the Government’s agenda as well.
‘This week in the Dáil, Sinn Féin will be voting on a motion to set up an all-party committee looking at a 10 year strategy for health and it is important that this area is looked at as part of that. In that regard, in the last week my colleague and Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O'Reilly TD met with Alzheimer's Ireland to discuss this and how we would work together to progress the issues of concern.’