Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (426)

Michael Healy-Rae


426. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address matters in relation to support and services for persons with dementia (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29595/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Dementia Strategy recommends that the HSE considers the provision of dementia advisors, based on the experience of demonstrator sites, with an appropriate number of such advisors to be dedicated to the needs of those with early onset dementia.  In this context, an evaluation of the Dementia Adviser Service, which was published in September 2018, recommends the continuation and expansion of the service to ensure equity of access countrywide.

There are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties in the Dementia Adviser Service established by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in 2014, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE since 2016.  €400,000 in funding has been allocated by the HSE in each of the last 3 years towards the cost of the service, and the HSE has agreed to continue to provide this level of funding for the service in 2019 and future years.

The HSE provides approximately €7.9 million for Dementia-Specific Intensive Homecare Packages, which facilitate people with dementia who have complex needs to remain living at home.  Since the introduction of these packages at the end of 2014, 443 dementia-specific intensive homecare packages have been delivered, with 201 active at the end of March 2019. 

People with dementia can also avail of standard Home Support Services for Older People, on the basis of need and within the resources available.  A total of €426 million has been provided for home support services this year, delivering over 17.9 million home support hours to over 53,000 people.

In addition to the above services, the HSE granted €12.68 million in 2018 to Section 39 organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers.

The Department of Health has also secured €6.26 million in Dormant Accounts funding for a range of additional projects being implemented by the National Dementia Office projects including a post-diagnostic support pathway project, a dementia diagnostic project and a national network of memory technology resource rooms.  

The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE, including for measures under the National Dementia Strategy,  will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.