In 2011, the Government announced its commitment to develop a National Dementia Strategy that could change the lives of people living with dementia in Ireland.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI), having advocated for a stratgey for many years, strongly welcomed this commitment and recognised that it was a pivotal moment for the 55,000 people living with dementia and their 50,000 carers.
Mr. Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh launching the ASI Submission on the National Dementia Strategy in 2012
In 2012, ASI welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Department of Health in relation to developing a strategy to transform the lives of people with dementia and their family carers. A copy of our full submission is available here. Please click here to download a summary of this submission.
A working group was convened by the Department of Health in 2013 to oversee the development of the National Dementia Strategy (NDS). This working group was tasked with developing the core elements of the strategy as well as developing an implementation plan based on the priorities set out in the Programme for Government.
As a key advocacy organisation, ASI wanted to ensure that the voice of people with dementia and family carers were heard during this process. In order to acheive this, we held two roundtable discussions to facilitate engagement between the NDS Working Group and carers and people with dementia. A report summarising the two roundtable meetings in available here. In this video members of the Irish Dementia Working Group explained why the publication of a strategy was so important to them.
In April 2013, ASI also hosted a multidisciplinary clinicians roundtable to discuss the core clinical elements of the NDS. Over 30 multidisciplinary clinicians took part from a range of clinical areas including social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and nursing. A report summarising the clinicians roundtable is available here.
The development of the NDS took place over several years and during this time ASI worked hard to ensure that dementia and the strategy remained a Government priority. In November 2014, we hosted a seminar titled Dementia Strategies - an opportunity to transform? With the imminent publication of the NDS, this seminar aimed at raising further awareness of what a dementia strategy can do for people with dementia and family carers in Ireland.
Gerry Martin, former ASI CEO, Alistair Burns, NHS England, Helen Rochford-Brennan, Irish Dementia Working Group and Douglas Philips, Scottish Government Joint Improvement Team, at the ASI NDS event in November 2014
The National Dementia Strategy was launched on 17 December 2014 by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister Kathleen Lynch. ASI welcomed the publication of the long awaited report and the funding which had been made available for three priority areas- intensive home care supports, GP education and training and dementia awareness.
Following this, ASI called for the full implementation of the Strategy and the Irish Dementia Working Group continued to highlight why the dementia strategy is so vital for families living with dementia in Ireland.