Kinsale pilot project hoping to reform dementia services
A €4.3 MILLION pilot project catering for more than 2,000 people with dementia has the potential to divert thousands of people with the condition away from institutional care and allow them to continuing living in their communities.
According to the founding director of charity Genio, Madeleine Clarke, the pilot project being launched in Kinsale, Co Cork, along with similar projects in south Tipperary, Stillorgan and Blackrock in Dublin, and Co Mayo, offers a model for service provision in Ireland.
Ms Clarke says currently there are 40,000 people in Ireland diagnosed with dementia, of whom 14,000 are in residential and institutional care. However, it is estimated that by 2041 the numbers diagnosed with dementia in Ireland will be 147,000.
“The provision of services for people with dementia is a huge issue coming down the track for Ireland, so even if we thought putting people into institutional care was the correct way to go we couldn’t do it, it’s completely unsustainable.”
Ms Clarke said what the Kinsale Community Response to Dementia (K-Cord) project and the other three projects would share equally in €4.3 million funding, €2.3 million of which was coming from the private sector via Atlantic Philanthropies and some €2 million from the public sector through the Health Service Executive.
Ms Clarke said Genio had experience of similar projects in the area of disability in which people were assisted to live at home and that experience would be of great assistance in helping the four pilot projects.
Dr Tony Foley of K-Cord said the project would include a community drop-in centre, activities in which people could participate and the training of professionals and volunteers.
“One area we hope to develop is in the area of assistive technologies – using simple technologies where somebody with dementia can be reminded to take their medication, or an alert system for their carers in case they suffer a fall or something happens to them.”
Officially launching the project on behalf of Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, Cork Labour TD Ciarán Lynch said Kinsale and the other pilot projects should build leadership and drive change to the benefit of those with dementia, their families and society.