Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (458)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

458. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter regarding support for persons with dementia (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30493/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As a response to the challenges facing people with dementia and their families and carers, the National Dementia Strategy was launched in December 2014. The Strategy contains 35 priority and additional actions and its implementation is being led by the National Dementia Office in the HSE. The Office has made substantial progress towards developing evidence-based care pathways for people with dementia. Progress made to date and future plans, are recorded in the mid-term review of the Strategy's implementation, which was published in May 2018.

In 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a project to map dementia-specific community-based services and supports. It provides a useful snapshot and baseline study into what, where and when dementia services are being offered, including in those counties that currently do not have access to a dementia adviser. The study has also been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website at https://www.understandtogether.ie/get-support/service-finder/. This allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.

Nationally, the HSE is providing approximately €7.9 million for Dementia-Specific Intensive Homecare Packages this year to 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.

€400,000 has been allocated by the HSE towards the cost of the Dementia Adviser service this year, and the HSE has agreed to continue to provide this level of funding in future years. There are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE.

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.