There are thousands of families struggling to access home care for loved ones with dementia and as a society we are failing to provide these people with the supports they need.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) expressed disappointment at the Government’s lack of investment towards community supports for people with dementia in Budget 2018.
While welcoming the allocation of additional funding for home care packages, it is very important to note that intensive home care packages for people with dementia must be prioritised within any home care allocation.
There is an estimated 55,000 people with dementia in Ireland and for every one person with dementia three others are directly affected and most people with dementia live at home (63%). The number of people with dementia will rise to 68,216 in the next 10 years.
For this reason, it is very disappointing that the Government has not accepted that the scale of dementia requires a specific response and budget that is ring-fenced and targeted to where the greatest need exists for services. The ASI’s Pre-Budget Submission 2018, ‘Dementia Care Begins at Home – Building a Community of Care’, asked the Government to put in place appropriate supports so people with dementia can remain active in their own communities.
The ASI looked for an investment of €35 million to develop and expand home care services; €2.31 million to roll out a Dementia Adviser service across Ireland; €1.92 million to provide Dementia Care Coordinators in every Local Health Office; and €852,000 for a Dementia Friendly Communities project across Ireland.
We are now calling on the Minister for Health to insist that the 2018 HSE Service Plan includes specific home care packages for people with dementia.
You can read our full reaction to Budget 2018 here.