Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Essential need for support for Alzheimer’s

21 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Mickey Brady, speaking after attending the AGM of Newry and Mourne Alzheimer's Group, has said that the demands on those looking after someone with Alzheimer's were enormous.

Mr Brady said:

"The Alzheimer's Society is the leading care and research organisation for people with all forms of Dementia, their families and carers. It provides information and education, advocacy and counselling, support for carers and quality day, home and respite care. It provides quality dementia training for healthcare professionals and promotes good practice in dementia care and funds medical and scientific research and campaigns for improved health and social services and greater public understanding of dementia.

"It is essential that there is good support for those families and carers living with the Alzheimer's. There are approximately 17,000 people with dementia in the north and an estimated 500 of those are in the Newry / Mourne area and are mostly cared for at home by family, relatives and friends.

"A diagnosis of the illness can be distressing and overwhelming for both the individual and their family. The much needed service provided by the Newry Branch of the Alzheimer's Society exists to respond to the questions and concerns of anyone whose life has been affected by dementia.

"I think that we must praise the commitment and care shown by the local Branches Officers and members. However, we also share concerns about access to drugs which would help treat the condition. It is sad once again that the right for an individual to access treatment and medication for the condition can be curtailed and restricted by cost." ENDS

Note to Editors

Mickey Brady MLA will be giving a talk to the Newry and Mourne Alzheimer's Group based in Ballybot House on April the 3rd about support entitlements in relation to sufferers and carers.

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