Dementia Can’t Wait – Urgent Funding Needed to Address Rising Need
About Our Campaign
Post-Budget Update 28/09/2022
Today, the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler TD, announced that the priority focus of the development of dementia services and supports will continue in Budget 2023; there will also be an increase in 15% of new home care hours ringfenced for people with dementia, with a continuation of dementia at-home support and continued funding of The ASI. It was encouraging to hear the dementia strategy mentioned yesterday by Minister Michael McGrath in Dáil Éireann on Budget Day and to see a commitment to The ASI in Minister Mary Butler’s press statement.
Minister Butler has meaningfully engaged with the ASI since her appointment, and we welcome her understanding and funding of much-needed dementia services. The ASI welcomes social protection increases and one-off payments, in particular, the €500 for family carers; they will go some way to alleviating the financial burden on people affected by dementia.
We know that family carers of people with dementia are struggling with the current cost of living crisis. We will continue to urge the government to embed these supports more sustainably and move away from once-off measures. The ASI looks forward to receiving more dementia-specific Budget details in due course and will share these with our staff. The ASI appreciates the support for the Pre-Budget 2023 campaign, including staff, branches, e-campaigners and advocacy champions.
We acknowledge the considerable engagement with Minister Mary Butler, Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, and all in the All-Party Oireachtas Group on Dementia.
We would now ask the Government to address the staffing crisis in the sector as home care that is dementia appropriate and provided by dementia-trained staff is crucially needed.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is calling on the Government to invest €19 million in urgent infrastructure and community supports for people affected by dementia to meet the growing need for dementia-specific care for thousands of people across the country in its Pre-Budget Submission 2023.
The recommendations in The ASI’s Pre-Budget Submission 2023 Dementia Can’t-Wait – Urgent Funding Needed to Address Rising Need called for an overall investment of €19m to address difficulties in meeting the rising demand for dementia services.
The document outlines a €2.5m need for dementia-specific day centres. The submission also calls for €1.7m funding in Community Day Care at Home Services to be maintained as Day Care at Home is essential to provide continuity of care and support to people with dementia and their families for whom Day Centres are not possible.
Up to 57,000 hours of Day Care at Home will be delivered this year, and it must continue. Day Care at Home was introduced during the pandemic while day centres were closed and have now become a vital service for hundreds of people.
The ASI provides 80% of Ireland’s dementia-specific Day Services, and recent data indicates that The ASI makes up 15% of all Day Care centres for older people in Ireland.
A further recommendation is €2.3m to provide therapeutic and emotional supports for people with dementia and their families, including for families affected by Younger Onset Dementia, education and training programmes, support groups and professional counselling and psychotherapy.
Additional aspects of the submission are:
€10m in Dementia Home Care Supports
An investment of €10m in dementia-specific home care supports and for the Government to take immediate action to address the staffing crisis in the sector. Home care that is dementia appropriate and provided by dementia-trained staff is crucially needed.
€120,000 to develop Inclusive Dementia Supports
The ASI is requesting an investment of €120,000 to develop and roll out inclusive community engagement initiatives for people living with dementia and their families. These initiatives include An LGBTQIA+ Dementia Support Group, a National Sporting Memories Reminiscence Programme, creating a Dementia Inclusive Generation in Post-Primary Schools and a Specific Young Onset Dementia Support Group. The investment would support recruiting two Community Engagement Officers to deliver these initiatives.
Launch 7th July 2022, Buswell's Hotel, Dublin
You can watch the playback of the live stream of the PBS Launch at this link
Experience of a Family Carer
Helena Quaid, Chair of the Dementia Carers' Campaign Network
Chair of the Dementia Carers Campaign Network (DCCN), Helena Quaid said: “I know from personal experience that family carers do not always look after themselves, caring for someone with dementia is a life-changing journey and carers need support too. I believe the section on Carer Supports in this Pre-Budget Submission is critical. As a Carer our own health is sometimes in jeopardy. I often think of the airplane when they tell me I should put on my own oxygen mask first to help others. I need to put on my imaginary oxygen mask every day. But it took me a long time to figure that out. When Kevin was first diagnosed I was on a treadmill, going through the motions and just getting through the day. I worked as a complementary therapist for many years. I spent so much of my working life advising people to de-stress, to look after themselves but I couldn’t do it for myself. The ASI is asking for – family carer training, counselling and support groups – and this has the potential to be lifesaving for carers like me. I urge the government to fund these supports.”