Ireland Must Plan for Future Dementia Strategy

I have called for focus on dementia services and forward planning to offset significant increases in the number of people affected.

Ireland currently has 55 thousand people suffering from Dementia, the most common form being Alzheimer’s disease. The effects of Dementia are profound and life-changing for the individual and those close to them.

As our population moves toward an older demographic, we will see a significant rise in the number of people affected by Dementia. By 2036, Ireland will have 113 thousand people diagnosed, this is over double the current figures; this will require improvements in how we deal with this strain.

While we are making progress in treatment and Irish scientists and doctors are playing an important role in breakthroughs, we must take action to future proof our system to be able to deal with the additional numbers of patients.

There are also things individuals can do to lower their risk of developing Dementia, a recent survey revealed that only 1 in 2 were aware that personal actions can help reduce the risk. These include tangible undertakings such as, increasing physical activity, eating healthy foods, consuming less alcohol and quitting smoking, among others.

We know what type of scenario lays ahead in the decades to come, what we must do now is to pre-empt the worse effects through working with patients and professionals, as well as educating people on what they can do to stay healthy.”

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