How Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland supports people living with dementia.
There are currently 19,765 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland and with an ageing population, this figure is set to rise. Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. The Society provides information and support to people with any form of dementia and their carers through publications, National Dementia Helpline, website and around 140 local services throughout Northern Ireland.
Alzheimer’s Society Director in Northern Ireland, Bernadine McCrory, said: “With our ageing population set to grow it is important that we challenge the issues facing people with dementia.
“As well as providing information and support to people with dementia, we also support health and social care professionals by delivering high quality education, resources and training. We influence politicians and policy-makers, and campaign for better quality of life for people affected by dementia and their carers towards greater understanding of dementia.
“We also fund innovative research in the areas of cause, cure, care and prevention. Working with scientists and people affected by dementia, we ensure that the medical and social research programmes we fund have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Dementia is caused by disease of the brain; symptoms include loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. It is progressive and eventually terminal. Dementia can happen to anyone and there is currently no cure. But with the right support, people can live well with dementia.
Across the UK, £26 billion a year is spent on dementia and currently families and carers shoulder two thirds of that cost.
Bernadine continued: “Dementia is a health and care challenge that we must address. Too few people are getting the diagnosis they need. In Northern Ireland, there are around 20,000 people with dementia, but only three out of five have a formal diagnosis. A timely diagnosis is so important to allow people to come to terms with this serious and complex medical condition.
“Once diagnosed, it is vital that we have adequate support for people with dementia and their carers, as a lack of support following a diagnosis can leave people coping alone till a crisis occurs. We believe everyone should have access to skilled dementia support to explain the condition and its effects, as dementia can be very isolating. People with dementia tell us that with the right support they can live well. At Alzheimer’s Society we know that small changes in our attitudes and behaviour can make a big difference to people living with dementia.”
Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the people who care for them. The Charity supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow.
In Northern Ireland the Society provides information and support to people through a Helpline, CrISP (Carers Information and support Programme), dementia advisers and support workers, dementia cafes, befriending, carer support groups and innovative Singing for the Brain groups. The aim is to defeat dementia through pioneering research, and fund an innovative programme of research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society relies on voluntary donations to continue its vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk
Northern Ireland Country Office (Belfast)
Unit 4 Balmoral Business Park
Boucher Crescent, Belfast
County Antrim, BT12 6HU
Tel: 028 9038 7778