160 new staff recruited to support new dementia services 

by Raj Das

The Irish government has announced plans to recruit over 160 staff for the development of new ‘Memory Services’ across the country. Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler stated that these services will provide timely access to both diagnosis and post-diagnostic supports for individuals with dementia. The aim is to reduce waiting times and ensure individuals receive the care they need as quickly as possible.

Ten new Memory Assessment and Support Services will be established in various locations including Mayo, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford, Cavan/Monaghan, Donegal, Kerry, Limerick, Mullingar, and Galway. These services will consist of multidisciplinary teams comprising medical, nursing, and therapy staff. The teams will conduct up to 300 new assessments per year to aid in the diagnosis of dementia.

The government has also allocated €12 million to dementia services this year. Minister Butler emphasized the importance of providing the right supports before and after diagnosis and acknowledged the stress families may experience in their caregiving roles. More efforts are needed to support individuals with dementia and their families to live well in their own communities.

September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day, and it is part of World Alzheimer’s Month. This annual event aims to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and highlight the best ways to provide support and care to those affected by the illness.

Minister Butler believes that timely diagnosis is key in the treatment of dementia. With advances in disease-modifying therapies and brain health interventions, it is possible to slow the progression of the illness and improve a person’s quality of life. The recruitment of new staff and establishment of Memory Services will contribute to achieving these goals.

It is expected that the new services will take some time to fully embed, but the government is committed to ensuring that individuals with dementia and their families receive the necessary care and support. The investment in dementia services and the establishment of new Memory Services across Ireland demonstrate the government’s dedication to improving the lives of those living with dementia.

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