HSE to keep on funding dementia initiative

Funding by Atlantic Philanthrophies and HSE through Genio Trust due to run out early in October in case of south Tipperary

More than 48,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland and, as the population at large doubles by 2031, that number will significantly increase

More than 48,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland and, as the population at large doubles by 2031, that number will significantly increase

 

An innovative project designed to allow dementia patients to live at home for longer rather than in long-term care is to be funded permanently by the HSE and backers hope it will be imitated across the State. The Five Steps to Living Well with Dementia project has been running in four pilot areas for the last three years and the HSE has now decided to fund the initiative in south Tipperary as part of its mainstream services.

The service has been backed by Atlantic Philanthrophies and the HSE through the Genio Trust until now, but that funding is due to run out early in October in the case of south Tipperary.

Now there are hopes that the HSE will also permanently fund the service in the other pilot areas of south Dublin, Mayo and Kinsale when their Atlantic Philanthrophies funding stops at the end of the year and – eventually – in the rest of the State. It is understood that project leaders in the other pilot areas are in discussions with the HSE about securing long-term backing.

More than 48,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland and, as the population at large doubles by 2031, that number will significantly increase in the decades to come.

The aim of the Five Steps project is to provide new models of flexible, person-centred care to people with dementia to enable them to continue living at home and remain active with their communities.

According to project lead in south Tipperary and consultant in old-age psychiatry Dr Caitríona Crowe, the recently published national dementia strategy represents a renewed commitment by the Government to provide patient-centred, flexible, community-based supports.

“Through this pilot project,” Dr Crowe said, “we deployed innovative initiatives which have proven very effective including a single point of contact, a clinical nurse specialist in dementia, a dementia support worker initiative and a memory technology library.”