THE HSE’s services for older people, change and innovation has said that additional funding will see the provision of more supports for dementia patients in 2022.
Fine Gael’s spokesperson on health and Cork-based TD Colm Burke asked the minister for health if his department will consider establishing drop-in care centres with services for patients with dementia through a recent parliamentary question (PQ).
In response to the PQ, the HSE said that the focus of new service developments in relation to dementia is to enhance assessment ensuring access to a timely diagnosis and in the development of post-diagnostic support and appropriate care and confirmed that this included an additional €7.3 million in Budget 2022, in addition to €5 million recurring funding allocated for dementia in 2021.
The funding will allow for further developments, including memory assessment and support services with access to comprehensive assessment, post-diagnostic support and brain health interventions.
It will also help to increase the number of regional specialist memory clinics and enhance memory technology resource rooms and will be used for the implementation of the dementia registry to improve dementia data and to inform the development of dementia services and clinical practice, the development of a Brain Health programme; the continued dementia audit within acute hospitals; and funding for the National Intellectual Disability Memory Service providing access to specialist teams for this high-risk group.
In addition, a proportion of new home support hours will be ring-fenced for people with dementia, increasing to 11% in 2022.
In response to Mr Burke’s PQ, the assistant national director of the hse’s services for older people, change and innovation, Janette Dwyer, said there are an estimated 64,142 people in Ireland living with dementia with the number expected to rise to 150,131 within 20 years.
“The National Dementia Strategy, published in 2014, sets out a framework for the development of dementia supports and services in Ireland.
"The aim of the strategy is to improve dementia care so that people with dementia can live well for as long as possible, can ultimately die with comfort and dignity, and can have services and supports delivered in the best possible way."
As part of the National Service Plan 2021, funding was received to expand the dementia adviser service bringing the total number of dementia advisers from eight to 29.
In addition, funding was secured for the provision of day care at home services to provide day care at home experiences for people when they cannot attend their local day centre, a service which was developed in response to Covid-19 and will continue in 2022.