The majority of the estimated 64,000 people currently living with dementia in Ireland, live at home in their local communities.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that have similar symptoms.The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and mixed dementia (a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular changes in the brain). Although dementia usually affects people as they get older, nine out of ten older people will never get dementia.
Some common symptoms of dementia include the ability to remember, plan, use language, navigate and regulate mood and behaviour. The experience of dementia is also influenced by a person’s social situation, their overall health status, their personality, and their preferences for care and support.
Good design helps people with dementia remain living at home and in their community independently and safely for as long as possible and can also support other family members and carers.
The Centre of Excellence at the National Disability Authority developed guidelines for a universal design approach to new build and retrofitting existing homes to support people living with dementia.
You can view these guidelines here.
You can view the National Disability Authority’s website by clicking here.
There are a number of useful websites and resources that provide information on living with dementia:
- Understand Together offers information and advice on dementia. It includes a dementia service finder where people can locate local dementia-related services by county or service type. There is also an opportunity to join Dementia Understand Together in Communities, where people, organisations and businesses are taking action to increase awareness of dementia in their local areas.
- Dementia Pathways provides resources and guidance to health and social care professionals to support good practice in dementia care. The website is managed by the HSE National Dementia Office.
- The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is a charitable organisation for people living with dementia and family carers. It works across the country providing dementia specific services and supports as well as advocating for the rights and needs of people living with dementia and their carers. It operates a national helpline on 1800 – 341 341.
- Western Alzheimer provides a complete range of care & support services to families affected by Alzheimers/Dementia in the West of Ireland.
- Universal Design Guidelines Dementia Friendly Dwellings for People with Dementia, their Families and Carers. Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, National Disability Authority.
- Dementia and Town Planning
- Design Guidance for People with Dementia and for People with Sight Loss.
- Housing LIN (UK) – Dementia Friendly Housing
- Dementia Research Ireland is an online resource that provides a summary and overview of research and policy in the area of dementia. The section on assistive technology provides some useful reports.
- Dementia Trials Ireland was launched in September 2022 to significantly expand the current small portfolio of dementia clinical trials in Ireland to include studies of diverse types, giving people with dementia access to high quality, internationally recognised clinical trials.
- Living Made Easy is a UK organisation that provides advise on the solutions, gadgets, adaptions and aids to support independent living. Their website has fact sheets that provide advice of a range of equipment.
- The Institute of Public Health has information on ways to slow down cognitive decline and to adopt a healthy brain lifestyle. It can be found on their website.
- The HSE operates a network of 23 Memory Technology Resource Rooms (MTRRs) nationwide. MTRRs are for people with memory difficulties and dementia, and their family and friends. Details of these services can be found through the service finder on Understand Together website. There are a large range of Assistive Technology (AT) products that are useful for people with memory difficulties. The MTRR offers a space where these products can be seen and tried out with a member of staff on an individual basis.”