Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler TD will lead her party’s special Dáil debate on dementia on Wednesday, 19th October.

Butler, who was recently asked to Chair the All-Party Committee on Dementia, said that “this is an issue that impacts on so many lives, not just the lives of people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but also on the lives of their loved ones who care for them on a daily basis.”

“Our motion will rightly put the spotlight on what supports are needed for people living with dementia, and where we feel the Government must step up its services to ensure that every person living with dementia has the best possible quality of care, and above all, quality of life.”

“There are currently 55,000 people in Ireland living with dementia with a further 165,000 people directly affected by it.”

“It is expected that one in three people aged over 65 will develop dementia, and that the number of people living with dementia  will double in the next 20 years, and treble in the next 35 year,” added Butler.

“Fianna Fáil wants to see progressive increases in investment towards home care supports for people with dementia over the years ahead, so as to meet the needs of people currently living with dementia in the community. What we need are flexible, individual needs-led health and social care services.

“In our election manifesto, we specifically committed to expanding intensive home care packages year on year. Most people living with dementia and their families want to have their care at home.”

“We also want to see aspects of the Nursing Home Support Scheme to be examined for home care such as a standardised process for assessment, certainty of entitlement and centralised, multi-annual, ring-fenced funding.”

“I am hopeful that members of all political parties, and none, in the Dáil, will support our motion. We need to make a strong, and united, stance in support of people living with dementia.”

“Our population is aging year on year. As a society, we need to prepare for the implications of an aging country, and that means resourcing services, supporting carers, and investing in research.”

“Across the Atlantic, I am heartened by the fact that the US Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton has committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2025. Ireland has some of the world’s best geneticists, and neurobiologists. We can, and must play our part in finding a cure,” concluded Butler.