The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) will be raising awareness and challenging the stigma that often surrounds dementia during World Alzheimers Month this September with the launch of new booklets, events, public talks and information sessions. World Alzheimers Month is the international campaign which is held every September to raise awareness of dementia and World Alzheimer’s Day is held on September 21st each year. During the month, the ASI will be looking at themes such as breaking down the stigma and negativity that often surrounds dementia; how people can do well and live well with dementia; and how the majority of people with dementia want to live in their own homes.

ASI events during World Alzheimers Month 2017 in Ireland:

● The ASI’s Eating well with dementia booklet will be officially launched on Monday, September 4th. This booklet offers practical tips and helps families and carers to understand how dementia can affect a person’s appetite and experience with food and how to deal with weight loss, weight gain and other nutritional issues. The booklet is available here: https://tinyurl.com/ycjpz4xh

● The ASI’s Mobile Information Bus Service is going to the Monasterevin Day Care Centre, Co Kildare on Friday, September 1st; Bethany House Carlow Day Care Centre, Tuesday September 5th; and Dunmurry Springs GC, Co Kildare on Wednesday, September 6th. The bus is also going to the National Ploughing Championship from September 19th-21st.

● A new assistive technology booklet will be launched shortly and related local information talks will take place in Tipperary, Kerry, Galway, Sligo, South Dublin and Monaghan. Full details to follow. ● The networking event Women Leaders in Ireland is taking place at The Cliff Town House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 on World Alzheimer’s Day, Thursday, September 21st (8.30am – 10.30am) and keynote is Managing Partner from MERC Partners, Ruth Curran.

● An AlzTalks event will be held at the Cork Arts Theatre on Wednesday, September 27th. People with dementia and carers will speak to a live audience alongside some musical acts including John Spillane. Full details of speakers, musical acts and tickets will be available soon.

● Three further Pre-Budget Submission 2018 Regional Meetings will take place – at the Lily of the Valley Day Centre, Wicklow (Friday, September 22nd); the Whistemount Day Care Centre, Meath (Monday, September 25th); and the Garryowen Day Care Centre, Limerick (Friday, September 29th). These events include local politicians, people with dementia, carers and family members.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland CEO, Pat McLoughlin said: “It is estimated that there are 55,000 people with dementia in Ireland and for every one person with dementia three others are directly affected and the number of people with dementia is expected to more than double over the next 20 years to 113,000 in 2036. It is obvious that this is a pressing issue which Irish society must start to take seriously. As we mark World Alzheimers Month, it is still very clear that a stigma and negativity often surrounds dementia. People can sometimes still feel afraid or embarrassed about talking to people they know who have dementia and this can lead to a lot of unnecessary loneliness for many people.”

“There is no cure for dementia. However, many people who have dementia can do well and live well in their community but they have to be supported in order to do this. We want to create a society that is fully inclusive of people with dementia and their families and carers and also a society that ensures the appropriate supports and services are made available. During World Alzheimers Month, we will also working closely with the Dementia: Understand Together campaign, a public support, awareness and information campaign led by the HSE, working with the ASI and Genio, that aims to create an Ireland that embraces and includes people living with dementia, and one which displays solidarity with them and their loved ones.

Mary Manning, HSE National Dementia Office, said: “This World Alzheimers Month, as we work to increase and streamline services provided, we also encourage everyone to stand together with the 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland and play our part in building a more supportive, inclusive and welcoming society. Those who have received a diagnosis, their families and loved ones have told us of the stigma and fear which still surrounds dementia. They speak of feeling isolated within their own communities, of being written out of daily life. Taking a few minutes to chat or call by for a cuppa, can help alleviate some of the loneliness people with the condition and their carers can experience. It’s important to remember that people can live well with dementia and that each one of us can make a difference in ensuring that our communities are supportive and inclusive.”

For Further Information: https://www.alzheimer.ie/Home.aspx