Reframing policy for dementia'

This chapter on policy development and implementation in Ireland was written against a backdrop of a prolonged austerity in Ireland and cutbacks in public expenditure. The chapter summarises key information about dementia in Ireland, including prevalence and costs of dementia. It examines the current realities for people with dementia living at home, in the context of cutbacks to community care, and the implications for family carers. Diagnosis, community-based nursing and other community-based services are also examined within the broader context of austerity-driven constraints, as well as long-stay care. Following a brief review of key policy developments in other countries, the chapter argues that even with additional resources, the current approach to care for people with dementia would not change much without a reframing of policy for dementia. An alternative policy frame is proposed, one that replaces: individual with collective; biological with social; risk with capabilities; institution with home; deficit with asset; and exclusion with inclusion. The chapter considers what the counter-policy would look like and argues that adopting this counter-policy frame for dementia could lead to a seismic change in how people think individually and collectively about the disease.

Reframing policy for dementia'
Theme or key words: 

O’Shea, E., Cahill, S. and Pierce, M. (2015) ‘Reframing policy for dementia’ in Walsh, K., Carney, G.M., and Ní Léime, A. (eds.) Ageing Through Austerity: Critical Perspectives from Ireland, Policy Press, Bristol.