Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has announced over 160 staff are being recruited for the development of new ‘Memory Services’ across Ireland.
10 new Memory Assessment and Support Services are being established in Mayo, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford, Cavan/Monaghan, Donegal, Kerry, Limerick, Mullingar and Galway.
The Government said multidisciplinary teams consisting of medical, nursing and therapy staff will undertake up to 300 new assessments per year for dementia.
It also said new staff are being recruited to the existing Regional Specialist Memory Clinics in St James’s Hospital and Tallaght University Hospital in Dublin for more complex cases of dementia.
The new staff are being recruited in line with the recommendations in the Model of Care for Dementia published earlier this year.
Minister Butler said the establishment of new Memory Services will “make sure that there is timely access to both diagnosis and post-diagnostic supports and a reduction in waiting times”.
“Timely diagnosis is key in the treatment of dementia,” she said.
“Advances in disease-modifying therapies and brain health interventions will be key tools to slow progression of the illness and maintain a person’s quality of life.”
Dementia in Ireland
The Government has invested €12 million into dementia services so far this year, according to Minister Butler.
“There are at least 64,000 people living with dementia in Ireland today,” she said.
“It is crucial that the right supports are in place at the right time both before and after diagnosis.
“It will take time for the new services to embed and achieve their full effect. I am nonetheless aware that families can feel stressed in their caring role and that more needs to be done to support them to live well in their own communities.”
September 21st marks World Alzheimer’s Day, as part of World Alzheimer’s Month, and aims to raise awareness on the illness and how best supports can be provided.