The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, Junior Minister, Alastair Ross and Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill today launched a dementia public information campaign.
The awareness raising campaign, which includes TV advertising, focuses on awareness raising, available information and support, training and development for Health and Social Care staff, training on Delirium and providing short breaks and support for carers.
Part of the Delivering Social Change Dementia initiative which was launched in September 2014 it is jointly funded by the Executive and Atlantic Philanthropies.
The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “It is estimated there are 19,000 people living with dementia in the north of Ireland and only some 13,000 have received a formal diagnosis.
“Behind these figures are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who through the onset of dementia have had their lives changed forever. We cannot begin to imagine their sense of pain or the new challenges to daily life this horrendous disease presents.
“Early diagnosis means people with dementia and their families can access the appropriate care and support services and help them plan for the future. And, while this campaign wont free their loved one from the disease, it aims to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of dementia and encourage people to seek an early diagnosis.” Junior Minister, Alastair Ross said: “The DSC Dementia initiative aims to transform the design and delivery of dementia services to improve the quality of care and support for people living with dementia and their carers. This campaign will raise awareness and understanding of dementia with the wider public, and help address the stigma attached to the condition.”
Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill said: “The launch of this public information campaign is another welcome milestone in the development of the Delivering Social Change Dementia Initiative. It follows very quickly on the back of the Dementia Learning and Development Framework which I launched last week. Both initiatives will help all of us, especially those who work and care for people living with dementia, to better understand their particular needs and to recognise that people living with dementia are ‘Still Me’.”
Fold Housing Association are working to become a Dementia Friendly Community. Fold's Senior Management Team, Board, staff and TeleCare Advisors have all completed Dementia Friendly Community training.
Alzhiemer's Society are Fold's Corporate Charity Partner. Tenants, staff, family and friends have raised a total of £62,200 for the charity since 2015.
For further information please visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/dementia