Funding for Community Action on Dementia Project must be found – Calleary


– Solid commitments, not vague assurances needed –

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says he’s encouraged by comments by the Minister for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch about funding for the Community Action on Dementia Project.  Funding for the pilot programme, which has been extremely successful over the past three years, is due to run out next month, but the Minister says the HSE is considering extending the funding into 2016.

Deputy Calleary commented, “The Community Action on Dementia Project has been a vital resource for hundreds of families across Co. Mayo, providing community based, one-to-one care which sees people treated in their own homes rather than having to be admitted to hospital or residential facilities.

“Not only has it provided care and support to families in Co. Mayo, it has rolled out substantial education and information initiatives in schools which aim to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with dementia.  So far it has reached almost 1,000 pupils.  Despite the success of this project, funding will run out on the 18th of December and to date there has been no confirmation that money is available to allow it to continue.

“When I raised the issue with Minister Kathleen Lynch today, she acknowledged that we “cannot afford to lose” these services and that the HSE is considering funding for the project into 2016.  While I welcome that sentiment, I would urge her department to move quickly on the issue.  One hundred families have grown to depend on this project for their loved ones to live with them or in their communities, but they do not know where they will stand on 1 January.  Meanwhile, a gifted range of people are working on the project but they do not know whether they will have employment in the new year.

“I am appealing to Minister Lynch and to local Government TDs to ensure the HSE has the funding to keep the project going.  It is a fantastic initiative, which provides fantastic value for money.  More importantly, it respects dignity and provides care in the community”.