Aug 10 2018 Posted: 09:57 IST

NUI Galway study will focus on recruiting carers from counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath where there is an estimated 4,800 people with dementia living in the North East

The Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway are leading the first ever study in Ireland looking at supports and services available for people with dementia and their families following a recent diagnosis. The study aims to recruit informal carers in the North East (Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath), often family members, who are providing regular care and support to a loved one diagnosed with dementia in 2017 or 2018.

There are an estimated 4,800 people with dementia living in the North East region of the country, many of whom are living at home supported by a family member or friend. It is not known how many of these have a diagnosis or at what stage they receive diagnosis.

Breakdown of dementia prevalence rates for each county:

  • Meath – 1,760
  • Louth – 1,450
  • Cavan – 870
  • Monaghan – 730

Carers may feel uncertain following the diagnosis of a loved one with dementia. The study is focused on identifying the most important services and supports at different stages of the illness. The results of the study will inform policy in relation to the supports and services that need to be in place to help carers and people with a recent diagnosis of dementia to deal with uncertainty and plan for future care needs.

The aim of the study is to inform practice and policy regarding services and supports required by carers and people with dementia in the period following a dementia diagnosis and how these needs change over time. The primary focus is on post-diagnostic supports for people with dementia and their principal caregiver. The person receiving care must have received a diagnosis of dementia, or probable dementia, since January 2017.

Dr Patricia Carney, a Health Economist at the Centre for Economic and Social Research at NUI Galway who is leading the study, said: “New investment in dementia care must reflect the preferences and needs of both the person with dementia and their informal carer. Carers require more tangible and practical supports to allow them do the job that most love doing. The consequences of not supporting them will be significant for people with dementia and for society. This study has the capacity and potential to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers’ in Ireland, especially in the time following diagnosis.”

Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia at NUI Galway, said: “Carers play a crucial role in looking after people with dementia and we need to know much more about their needs and preferences for different kinds of services and supports.”

If you provide regular support or care to a person recently diagnosed with dementia and want to participate in the study or find out more please email Dr Patricia Carney at DemCarer@nuigalway.ie or call Patricia on 086 0230772.

To participate in the study visit: www.nuigalway.ie/dementiacare/

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