More funding for dementia supports needed

Govt has failed to support those affected
  • Deborah Condon

The current Government has failed to properly fund supports for people with dementia, according to the All-Party Oireachtas Group on Dementia.

It has published its pre-budget submission calling for major investment in this area. There are currently around 55,000 people with dementia in Ireland, but this figure is projected to increase to over 132,000 by 2041.

"The Government has abysmally failed to support people with dementia. Three budgets have been implemented by this Government, but no meaningful efforts have been made to address the shortfall in supports for people with dementia.

"The All-Party Oireachtas Group on Dementia has repeatedly requested a meeting with the Minister for Health to brief him on our budget asks, and we are very disappointed that he has not yet been able to meet us," commented the group's co-chairperson, Senator Colette Kelleher.

She said that a huge amount of work has been carried out by the group to deliver a budget submission that outlines practical steps the Government can take to make a difference to those affected.

"It is my hope the Government recognises the effective cross-party work of our group and acts upon our recommendations," Senator Kelleher said.

The 2020 pre-Budget submission contains four key investment recommendations:
-€7.415 million to address community service gaps
-€1.68 million for dementia advisers, with an incremental increase from nine to 33 posts by 2023
-€1 million for regional centres of excellence for people with Down syndrome and dementia
-€6 million for dementia home care.

"If the Government does not deliver on our budget recommendations, it will leave itself a shameful legacy in terms of supporting people with dementia.

"The number of people with dementia is increasing, but investment in supports for them is being completely overlooked. We need urgent action in the 2020 Budget to address this," Senator Kelleher added.

Budget 2020 will be announced on October 8.


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