I propose to answer Questions Nos. 113, 124 and 140 together.
Estimates indicated that the number of people with a significant form of dementia in this country, including Alzheimer's disease is between 20,000 and 30,000.
The report, The Years Ahead — A Policy for the Elderly stressed the need to develop a range of services for people with dementia and their families, including purpose built accommodation. The report was adopted as official Government policy towards the elderly. Between 1990 and 1992 an additional £9 million was made available to the health services to implement the key recommendations of the report, including the strengthening of home and community support for people with dementia and their families. The investment by boards in additional community nursing, day care and respite services has increased the support available to suffers of Alzheimer's disease and their carers. The care of those with dementia is clearly emerging as a priority for many boards, a development which I fully support. All eight health boards have indicated that they have locations at which residential, day or respite care is available for Alzheimer sufferers though not all of these centres are dedicated exclusively to Alzheimer patients.
In 1994, funding is being made available to provide specialist services for those with dementia in South-East Dublin, Limerick and Cork. It is hoped that these services will be in operation before the end of the year or early next year. Also in 1994, I was happy to be able to approve a grant of £20,000 from national lottery funds to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to help towards their national development plan.