Urgent investment needed for people affected by dementia in Donegal

Budget 2021 appeal from the Alzheimer Society of Ireland

Urgent investment needed for people affected by dementia in Donegal

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) has called for urgent investment in infrastructure, home care and community supports for people affected by dementia in Donegal.

In its 2021 Pre-Budget Submission it called on the Government for an urgent investment of €20 million in infrastructure, home care and community supports that will help support the 2,451 people living with dementia and their struggling families in Donegal.

They say this is needed to address the sharp deterioration in health of both people dementia and their family carers caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ASI’s Pre-Budget Submission 2021, Dementia: The Forgotten Crisis outlines the detrimental impact of Covid-19 on people affected by dementia and the continued absence of vital services and the growing gap between need and delivery which is now more critical than ever.

Budget 2021 must start to close this widening service gap, they say.

Recent research from the ASI has shown that during the Covid-19 crisis, 86% of family carers were concerned about a decline in their loved one with dementia, while 61% of family carers believe their own mental health has been negatively impacted.

People with dementia and their family carers are worried, stressed and fearful due to the continued closure of key face-to-face community services such as day care centres.

The ASI is calling for the following in Budget 2021:

- €10 million – Urgent Infrastructure Support
To refurbish and rebuild dementia specific day centres to enable them to re-open in the immediate term and to expand services into the future

- €6 million – Dementia Home Care Supports
To provide home care that is dementia appropriate and can meet growing demand

- €589k – Additional Dementia Advisers
To continue to develop a nationwide Dementia Adviser service

- €2.31 million –Dementia Key Workers
To provide a care pathway for each person with dementia

- €768k –Dementia Inclusive Community Coordinators
To support the further development of a dementia inclusive Ireland

ASI chief executive, Pat McLoughlin said they knew that this will be a Budget like no other.

"Covid-19 is having a detrimental impact on people living with dementia and their families. Never before will the investment we are calling for be more needed. Without extra funding we simply will not be able to reopen all of our vital day care services that people desperately need and our society will be no ability to develop dementia specific services to plan for and meet growing need."

He added: "We must get our Government to listen. Our research findings show that living in lockdown has taken an enormous toll on the wellbeing and mental health of family carers, a toll that has intensified as Covid-19 restrictions on dementia-specific services have continued despite others lifting.”

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