There are currently an estimated 20,000 people living with a dementia in Northern Ireland.
Being aware of general signs and symptoms of dementia is important. An early diagnosis allows people to receive the treatment and care which enable them to live independent and fulfilling lives in their own community. Early diagnosis and support also enable people to make their own decisions about their care and to make plans for the future.
By 2051 it is estimated that there could be 60,000 people living with a dementia in Northern Ireland. It is therefore important that arrangements are in place which provide equitable, efficient and effective services that promote independence and well being.
The Regional Dementia Care Pathway sets out our vision for high quality dementia services in Northern Ireland.
This Care Pathway describes the care that a person with dementia may receive from the moment they consult their GP with concerns about symptoms such as short-term memory loss, and are diagnosed with dementia, through to the end of their life. It has been developed using the expertise of people working in dementia care and seeking the views of people living with dementia and their families and carers.
The Dementia Care Pathway includes provision for younger people with a dementia and people with learning disability.
Easy Read translations, in video format, are available on Vimeo by clicking on the links below:
Regional Dementia Care Pathway booklets, including Easy Read versions, are available to download below:
|Dementia Care Pathway Document, Full Version||4.3 MiB||3928|
|Dementia Care Pathway, Pocket Guide||0.4 MiB||1096|
|Easy Read Booklet No 1: Talking About Dementia||3.1 MiB||1019|
|Easy Read Booklet No 2: Finding Out If It's Dementia||2.3 MiB||918|
|Easy Read Booklet No 3: Living Well With Dementia||2.9 MiB||1030|
|Easy Read Booklet No 4: Coping With Changes||2.8 MiB||947|
|Easy Read Booklet No 5: End Of Life Care||2.6 MiB||997|
A new digital service offering support for people living with dementia and their carers was launched by the Health and Social Care Board in October 2019.
The apps4dementia library, https://apps4dementia.orcha.co.uk, hosts a selection of safe and trusted apps which provide people with information and guidance on the condition, advice on self-care and how to carry on with their day-to-day activities for as long as possible.
The Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency work in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and local Health and Social Care Trusts to implement Improving Dementia Services in Northern Ireland. Published in 2011 this regional strategy aims to promote a culture which ensures people with dementia are supported to live with dignity and without stigma.
The strategy contains 44 recommendations categorised under seven themes including:
• Raising awareness
• Promoting early assessment and diagnosis
• Supporting people with dementia and their caregivers
The Dementia Learning and Development Framework has been developed to enable health and social care staff deliver the best quality of care to people living with dementia, their families and carers.
Being able to express one’s sexuality in a safe and rewarding way contributes much to an individual’s overall sense of emotional and physical well-being. The onset of dementia does not necessarily mean an end to sexual needs or need for sexual expression. However, the changes brought about by dementia can lead to social, emotional and behavioural challenges for the individuals concerned and can create ethical and safeguarding issues for staff.
The Operational Guide for Staff on Relationships, Sexuality and Dementia provides practical support to staff dealing with the issues around sexuality for people with a dementia and their partners.
Developed in collaboration with HSC Trusts, academics, experts in sexual health, community and voluntary representatives and people with a dementia and their carers.
Dementia Training for Informal Caregivers was provided to family members and friends of people living with dementia.
The training equipped them with the knowledge, skills and understanding of caring for a person living with a dementia and helped build their confidence and resilience in undertaking their caring role.
Northern Ireland’s first Dementia Champions graduated in February 2017. During 2017 a further two cohorts completed the Dementia Champions training programme with graduations in May and June. Key areas covered by the programme included receiving a dementia diagnosis, research and evidence based practice in dementia care, communication and promoting enabling environments.
Open to health and social care staff from all disciplines and work settings, students were required to undertake a change project within their area of work that led to improved practice, care, support and treatment for people with a dementia and their carers.
The Dementia Champions Training Programme was developed and provided in partnership by the Health and Social Care Board, the Public Health Agency, Connected Health, North West Regional College, the Department of Health and Atlantic Philanthropies.