THE HSE has been approved funding for the provision of an additional 10 Dementia Adviser posts and a coordinator post from the allocation for the SláinteCare Enhanced Community Care Fund.
The HSE will continue to partner with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland who deliver this vital service.
A Dementia Adviser is a point of contact for people who are concerned about their cognitive health or who have a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia Advisers enable people to take control of their own lives by providing practical assistance, advice and information, and signpost people with dementia and their carers to appropriate services and supports.
Mary Manning, General Manager, HSE National Dementia Office, welcomed the additional posts and said: “The Independent Evaluation of the Dementia Adviser Service commissioned by the HSE National Dementia Office, recommended an increase in the number of Dementia Advisers to meet the demand, as a result of the growing prevalence of dementia and to achieve national coverage for this valued role.
“We were delighted when this funding was secured as it’s a vital service and one that can support the many thousands of people living with dementia in Ireland and their families and carers.
“It’s an important post-diagnostic support and alongside the Memory Technology Resource Rooms, the growing number of dementia café’s and increasing availability of cognitive therapies that can support people with dementia, we are moving towards a more comprehensive pathway of care for people living with the condition.”
Pat McLoughlin, CEO of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, said: “This announcement is a really positive step for people with dementia and family carers in Ireland, especially at this time with so many face-to-face dementia services curtailed or closed, due to Covid-19. Dementia Advisers offer a lifeline to people in their communities.
“Everyone in Ireland should have access to this key community service – no matter what part of the country they live.
“This announcement will make this a reality for many more. It has taken a while to get here and it’s thanks to the expertise of the Dementia Advisers, the HSE National Dementia Office, politicians, grass-roots efforts and our staff who have all recognised the need for more Dementia Advisers and the need for further investments in dementia supports in the future.
“When these new posts were announced in Budget 2020 I said I hoped that a new cycle of adequately supporting people with dementia and their families would begin. I still maintain this hope as for too long they have been the forgotten ones.
“Today is recognition that more dementia supports are badly needed – and we still have a long way to go. I would like to thank the political support, the National Dementia Office and the HSE for their on-going work for this recruitment programme and I really am looking forward to expanding the existing ASI Dementia Adviser team with these new posts.”
The HSE National Dementia Office is working with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to support and enhance further integration of the Dementia Adviser service within existing HSE and community providing a seamless pathway of care.
The posts will be recruited by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) funded through a Service Level Agreement with the HSE and overseen jointly by the HSE and ASI. Recruitment for the new posts will begin shortly and will result in national coverage of the Dementia Advisor service.