Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (615)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

615. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if an awareness campaign will be launched (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18432/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A diagnosis of dementia creates a number of challenges for the person directly impacted by the condition, as well as their families and friends. Apart from the changes which are often necessary to enable the person with dementia to continue living well in their own area, the stigma surrounding dementia generates an additional challenge of isolation from the wider community.

While many of us know someone living with dementia, it is often poorly understood. 1 in 2 people in Ireland know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia, but only 1 in 4 say they have a good understanding of it and 2 in 5 know “little or nothing” about dementia.

To address this issue, Dementia: Understand Together, a national public awareness campaign, was created by the HSE to produce and deliver a range of information resources and materials for people with dementia and the wider general population. A multimedia advertising and public relations campaign has greatly increased the awareness of dementia. In addition, a comprehensive website has been created at www.understandtogether.ie to provide general information on dementia, education and resources available in each county.

The need to plan for the eventuality of further progression of the dementia is also considered on the Understand Together website. The "Legal and Financial" section emphasises the need for people with dementia to plan for their future, highlighting areas such as enduring power of attorney, driving, insurance and employment issues. Links are provided to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland website, which offers advice to people with dementia on how to plan their future financial, legal and healthcare needs. On this basis, a separate awareness campaign on wills and power of attorney is not considered necessary at this point.