Challenges faced by those living with dementia did not disappear during the pandemic and must be tackled by expediting the implementation of the National Dementia Care Strategy as we emerge from the height of the Covid-19 emergency, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Health Senator Martin Conway said, “Enhancing dementia care in Ireland is one of our Programme for Government commitments, and after 18 months of managing the Covid crisis we now need to focus on expediting real progress in this area.
“We need to turn our attention to addressing the inequities and challenges that ordinary people continue to face in our healthcare system. For those living with dementia, their illness continued throughout the pandemic, and in some cases the restrictions and social isolation exacerbated people’s conditions.
“A range of commitments were made in our Programme for Government in recognition of the importance of specialist dementia care, including the implementation of the National Dementia Care Strategy, increasing the number of dementia advisers, as well as investigating the possibility of establishing a dementia village.
“While it was promising to see this prioritisation of dementia care last year, this is of no actual benefit to those living with dementia and their carers until we see these commitments delivered upon in full.
“The National Dementia Strategy was published in 2014, with a mid-term review carried out by the Government in 2018. This review recognised the significant challenges that those with dementia face in accessing specialist care and support, and the need for further investment in our health and social care system for the full implementation of the Strategy.
“We need to ensure that we deliver upon our Programme for Government commitments, and this must begin by putting real action into progressing the full implementation of the National Dementia Care Strategy,” concluded Senator Conway.