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The first national survey to map demographic trends in the provision of specialist long-term care for people with dementia in Ireland has found low numbers of dementia-specific care units (SCUs) throughout the Republic of Ireland.
The survey also found that SCUs have evolved in an “arbitrary, fragmented and uncoordinated manner”. The researchers identified large gaps in service provision, especially in Leinster, and excessive numbers of patients in individual housing units.
The report conducted by researchers at Trinity College shows that the private sector provides the majority of the high dependency care, but receives the least funding.
“Of some concern is the fact that only 11 per cent of all the Irish facilities surveyed have dedicated dementia units and, despite an expected increase in demand for long-term dementia care arising as a result of population ageing,” said research associate Professor Suzanne Cahill.
“Only a small minority of Irish nursing homes intend opening dementia unit.”
Commenting on the report, Tadhg Daly, (CEO, Nursing Homes Ireland) said “This report is very timely and yet another ‘eye-opener’ for Government and policy stakeholders. We wholeheartedly welcome the research findings that the complex and high dependency needs of persons with dementia need to be realistically reflected in better resource allocation”.
The findings are contained in a new report entitled ‘An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long-Term Residential Care’, which was launched in Trinity College today.