Northern Ireland

Dementia 2014: Opportunity for Change and Northern Ireland Summary

Dowrick, A., Southern, A.
Alzheimer’s Society (UK)
2014

The Dementia 2014 report by the Alzheimer’s Society (UK) provides a summary of key areas affecting people with dementia across England, Wales and NI.

Over 1,300 people living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia responded to a survey and over 2,200 members of the public were surveyed using a YouGov poll. A summary specific to each region including NI was also completed. The summary report for NI points out that despite higher diagnostic rates in NI access to diagnosis and post-diagnostic support remains inconsistent. Less than one in five people felt that they were getting enough support from the government. The report also comments on the variable quality of care provided in NI. Just over half of those living with dementia said they were living well with less than half feeling they are part of their community and it is suggested that people with dementia in NI have yet to feel the benefits of dementia friendly community initiatives. The report comments on the lack of government investment to support the implementation of the regional strategy. Fourteen actions are recommended relating to diagnosis, post-diagnostic support, resourcing the dementia strategy, social care funding, health and social care integration, involving people with dementia and carers, training, dementia friendly communities, evidenced based care and research.

Focus on Dementia

CARDI
CARDI
2010

In 2010, CARDI provided an update on policy around dementia in ROI and NI, at a time that commitments had been made to developing national dementia strategies in both jurisdictions.

The briefing paper also drew attention to the relatively low level of funding for research on dementia in comparison to other chronic conditions and makes the case for the promised national dementia strategies in ROI and NI to be used as channels for promoting research on dementia, as has been done in other countries.    

Dementia 2013: The Hidden Voice of Loneliness

Kane, M., Cook, L
Alzheimer’s Society (UK)
2013

The 2013 Dementia report produced by the Alzheimer’s Society (UK) focused on people with dementia living alone and the impact of loneliness on quality of life. A questionnaire was used to gather the views of over 500 people living with dementia, although only 1% resided in NI.

A small number of interviews and two focus groups were conducted to explore the experiences of people with dementia who lived alone in more detail. The report references existing research, publicly available statistics and current work. A YouGov poll of 2,287 UK adults provided information on perceptions of dementia. Dementia 2013 suggests there has been some improvement in quality of life for people living with dementia since the 2012 report but that progress is slow. Key findings were: lack of diagnosis is an ongoing issue; there has been a marked reduction in inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medication; 17% of those surveyed said they are not living well with dementia, the same figure as 2012; a third of people with dementia said losing friends accompanied a diagnosis; a high percentage of people with dementia are lonely. In line with these findings the report highlights some general priorities across the UK and then focuses on each region.  The priorities for NI are to:

  • Improve health and care for people with dementia, drawing attention to Transforming Your Care, a review of health and social care in NI, and the consultation Who Cares? on the future of adult care and support in NI.

  • Make choice and control a reality for people with dementia, highlighting the need for NI to introduce formal mental capacity legislation.

  • Improve quality of life for people with dementia by reducing loneliness.

Dementia 2012: A National Challenge

Lakey, L., Chandaria, K., Quince, C., Kane, M., Saunders, T.
Alzheimer’s Society (UK)
2012

This is the first in a series of annual reports produced by the Alzheimer’s Society (UK) examining how well people with dementia are living in England, Wales and NI.

Findings of the report are based on a questionnaire distributed to people living with dementia and a YouGov poll of the general public. The report found that only 22% of people living with dementia said that they are living very well with dementia and only 7% of the general public perceive people with dementia to have either a very good or fairly good quality of life. The report targets five key areas in its recommendations: awareness and understanding; health and social care systems; information and support for people living with dementia; recognition of people with dementia as active citizens; investment in research; informing people with dementia about research and opportunities for participation.