Ireland - Dementia Friendly Communities

Ballina/Killaloe Dementia Friendly Community
Dementia Aware Donegal
Dementia Elevator
Dementia friendly communities programme

Galway City Dementia Friendly Communities
Memory Matters
Traveller community outreach
Wicklow Dementia Friendly

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Ballina/Killaloe Dementia Friendly Community

Among these efforts are Waterman’s Lodge in Ballina/Killaloe village, which provides day care and respite services for people with dementia and their carers and, as part of this work, aims to create close ties with the local community. There are two main areas of activity within the Ballina/Killaloe Dementia Friendly Community, the first of which is awareness-raising among businesses, voluntary groups and individuals in the area. Attending lectures or discussion groups and obtaining educational materials are just some of the ways that a group or individual can work towards Dementia Friend status. The second area of work is to identify where improvements could be made in signage, access to building and public facilities, and work with local and government agencies to make improvements.

Dementia Aware Donegal

The Dementia Aware Donegal programme, launched in 2011, is comprised of 5 project components: Be a Sport for Dementia, which encourages people with dementia to continue their involvement in local sports clubs, Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Memories, a play designed to grow awareness and understanding of dementia, You’ve Got a Friend in Me, an effort to establish Dementia Champions to recruit and train new Dementia Friends, Hearth and Home, an effort aimed at providing support for those living with dementia in the community, and finally, Faith, Hope and Charity, a development of best practices for clergy to better support members of the congregation living with dementia and their families. The project was developed by the Donegal branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland in partnership with the Health Service Executive’s local office.

Dementia Elevator

Dementia Elevator, launched in 2014, is an innovative dementia friendly community initiative in Ireland that aims to ensure individuals, communities and health systems engage appropriately with people with dementia. Their training programmes include Dementia Champions, Dementia Awareness, Memory Assessment and Everyday Ethical Care Decision Making. Training is currently provided for community groups, front-line retail staff and healthcare professionals, with plans to add programmes for financial, emergency, transport, legal and leisure services soon.

Dementia friendly communities programme

Working with Innovations in Dementia in 2011, ASI developed its programme to support communities throughout Ireland to become dementia friendly. To date, communities in Co Donegal, Galway city, Ballina/Killaloe in Co Clare, Mallow in Co Cork, Callan in Co Kilkenny, Cavan town and Co Wicklow have signed up.

Galway City Dementia Friendly Communities

Launched in 2013, the Galway City Dementia Friendly Communities initiative joins Galway City Council, Health Services Executive West Health Promotion Services, Galway Volunteer Centre, Dare to DREAM (Dementia Research Education Advocacy in Motion), and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. The initiative has three elements: providing awareness training for community groups, a Dementia Friends programme, and Dementia Friendly Businesses. In 2015 it was announced that Dementia Friendly Singing would be introduced to the project soon.

Memory Matters
Memory Matters, led by the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Programme Service Providers Forum, has 5 key project areas: information sessions for the community and service providers, a programme for local schools to raise awareness, inclusive social and creative activities such as arts festivals and memory cafés, a Dementia Befriending Service, and reviews of places and spaces within the community and how dementia friendly they are.

Traveller community outreach

In 2010, a year before their own dementia friendly communities programme was launched, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) undertook work to reach out to Ireland’s Traveller community. While rates of dementia are still fairly low due to lower life expectancy among travelling families, the numbers are increasing and there was a distinct lack of connection between the community and existing awareness, services and support. In partnership with Primary Care Workers, visual information about dementia which relied less upon text for those with low literacy levels was developed. While reaching out to Traveller communities, the project also provided an education for the Alzheimer Society and Primary Care Workers who previously had little knowledge of the needs and challenges faced by Traveller communities.

Wicklow Dementia Friendly

Created by Wicklow Network for Older People, Wicklow Dementia Friendly aims to raise awareness, reduce stigma and seek ways for groups and services within the community to support people with dementia for as long as possible. Dementia is Everybody’s Business information evenings and Make My Service More Dementia Friendly workshops play a key role in this initiative, which covers communities across the county. A Wicklow Dementia Friendly symbol has been created for service providers to display in their window once they have attended a workshop.