Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has called on the Government to increase investment in community supports for people with dementia. The Sinn Féin TD was speaking after the launch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s pre-Budget submission.

The midterm review of the National Dementia Strategy launched in May 2018 and it acknowledges that people with dementia, and their families, are still trying to cope with inadequate services and supports. It agrees that additional funding is required.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions which causes changes and damage to the brain. These changes significantly affect a person’s quality of life, their memory, their thinking communication, and their ability to perform simple everyday tasks.

“New mapping of dementia specific services shows that people living in Ireland do not have equal access to a basic minimum standard of community services. Budget 2019 could and should rectify this by providing additional funding for this sector.

“Across Dublin over 90,000 people are at home with dementia and there are some 27,000 carers. There are 45 community services currently operating in the Dublin catchment area, but it is estimated that an extra 247 are needed to meet demand, and the number of people with dementia is expected to treble by 2040

“A €2.5 million increase in the budget for Dublin would cover the costs of meeting this demand and it would roll out the vital services that are needed to support families and those with dementia.

“Dementia is one of the critical health and society challenge of our times. As politicians we need to up our game and create access to quality dementia services for our aging population.

“The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland pre-Budget submission is a reasonable proposal and the Government should implement these proposals in Budget 2019.”