Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Deirdre Heney
Dublin Bay North
28 January 2016
Dementia carers, society’s silent heroes – Heney
Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Bay North Cllr Deirdre Heney has described carers of people with dementia as silent heroes.
“There are over 50,000 carers of a loved one with dementia in Ireland today. In my work as a public representative, I have become aware over the last three years or so, that many carers of a loved one with dementia experience pain and a deep sense of sadness as a direct result of his or her loved one having Dementia. These carers invariably become isolated from their community because, very often, their friends seem to feel embarrassed about the disease and as a result, are unsure as to how to relate to a friend whose loved one has dementia.
“I want to see us as a society acknowledge Dementia carers, particularly people who care for a loved one at home. We need to look upon Dementia as a normal part of life and not a disease to feel embarrassed about. If we did this, we could, I believe, improve the quality of life of carers as well as their loved ones.”
Cllr Heney went on to call for the establishment of a National Dementia Friendly Villages initiative “so that we can change for the better, the way in which Irish society relates to people with this disease. Such an initiative could, I believe, lead to a lessening of the sadness and isolation experienced by carers of loved ones with dementia.
“The Forget-me-Nots choir in Baldoyle, is a dementia friendly choir, established by family members of a loved one with dementia. It is a beautiful social outlet for carers of and people with dementia. It doesn’t cost much money to run, but it brings joy to those who are involved in it. A choir such as this, if established in every village in Ireland, (as part of a national Dementia Friendly Villages initiative) could, I believe, improve, in a small way, the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers.”