Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (675)

Damien English


675. Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the progress of the National Dementia Strategy, which will seek to increase awareness, ensure early diagnosis and intervention, and enhance community based services for persons living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; when he expects the report to be finalised and published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31848/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is estimated that there are currently 41,000 people with dementia in Ireland and Alzheimer's Disease accounts for the majority of cases.

Given that the number of people with dementia is expected to rise to between 141,000 and 147,000 by 2041, the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a National Alzheimer's and other Dementias' Strategy by 2013 to;

- increase awareness

- ensure early diagnosis and intervention and

- ensure development of enhanced community based services.

A significant amount of preparatory work has already been completed. A research review funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies to lay the foundations for the Strategy, titled Creating Excellence in Dementia Care, A Research Review for Ireland’s National Dementia Strategy was published in January 2012. A public consultation process to inform the development of the Strategy was conducted in 2012 and a report of same published on the Department's website in February 2013.

A Working Group, representative of key stakeholders from the Department, the HSE, the medical profession and the community and voluntary sector has been established, meetings of which are on-going.

While the development of the Strategy will have to have due regard to the constraints imposed by the budgetary situation, it is intended that it will be a transformative Strategy. It will have a very practical focus, will be action oriented and will focus on what can be done to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia. It is intended that a draft of the Strategy will be completed by the end of 2013.