The Minister with Special Responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, has launched the mid-term review of the National Dementia Strategy.
Minister Daly noted that good progress has been made in implementing the strategy, which, he said, remained a work in progress with challenges still to be overcome.
The strategy contains 14 priority and 21 additional actions under the headings of leadership, better awareness and understanding, timely diagnosis and intervention, integrated services, supports and care for people with dementia and their carers, training and education and research and information systems.
Reaffirming the commitment of the Department of Health and the Government to fully implementing the strategy, the Minister said, “I am conscious that dementia is becoming a condition that affects more and more families across the country. I have already had high level meetings with my officials and the HSE to discuss further deliverables in the context of the estimates for budget 2019 and I hope to be able progress new measures at this time.”
Reflecting on the work carried out over the past three years, Minister Daly acknowledged the role of the Atlantic Philanthropies through its investment in the funded projects contained in the Strategy. He also commended the National Dementia Office in the HSE for its leadership in implementing the Strategy.
It is estimated that over 55,000 people in Ireland have a form of dementia, with 4,000 new cases each year. After the age of 65, the prevalence of dementia nearly doubles every five years, but onset can occur at much younger ages. Around 4,000 people in Ireland aged under 65 have younger onset dementia. Based on population projections from the CSO, the number of people with dementia will double to 115,000 by 2036 and treble to 157,000 by 2046.