Alzheimer Carers 'Reaching Crisis Point'

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland has said carers are reaching crisis point, with waiting lists for its home care service up 33% to 1,000 people since last year.

In its pre-Budget submission, the charity has appealed for no cuts in dementia services in 2011, given that Ireland spends half of the OECD average on these services, yet has the largest growth of dementia in Europe.

Insufficient funding is resulting in carer burnout and use of long-term care.

 
The society says it needs a total investment next year of €19.8m, to ensure patients receive a minimum package of services.
 
This funding would maintain its community services, which cost €14.6m to provide, clearing the waiting list would cost €4.6m and it also needs funding to ensure support for 4,400 younger people with dementia, as well as helping prevent dementia.
 
An economic report on dementia by Dominic Trepel, Health Economist at the University of Limerick and commissioned by the society, says carers are facing a significant risk of burnout.
 
Nearly 70% of carers are providing 14 or more hours of support a day to people with middle to late stages of dementia. It says insufficient funding is resulting in carer burnout and use of long-term care.
 
The report calls for a National Dementia Strategy to support the 44,000 people with dementia and 50,000 carers.
 
(source: RTE News)