Healthy Ireland’s goals are to:
Increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life
Reduce health inequalities
Protect the public from threats to health and wellbeing
Create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland
Healthy Ireland takes a whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approach to improving health and wellbeing and the quality of people’s lives. While there is no explicit mention of dementia in Healthy Ireland, one of its key goal is to decrease the prevalence of unhealthy behaviours that contribute to chronic disease, and to increase the degree to which diseases and conditions are either prevented, or detected early enough to allow for successful intervention.
With respect to dementia, whilst ageing is the strongest risk factor for dementia and genes can play a part, the likelihood of developing dementia is also influenced by a number of cardiovascular risk factors and factors related to lifestyle including physical exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and cognitive activity. There is strong evidence that a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of dementia. Under the National Dementia Strategy, public awareness and health promotion measures are to be implemented by the Health Service Executive to support the implementation of Healthy Ireland by highlighting the modifiable lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors which can beneficially impact on risk and time of onset of dementia.
Two surveys have been completed since the publication of the Healthy Ireland Framework and links to the reports on these surveys are included below. Links to a number of other policy documents and reports are also included. While these may not be directly related to dementia, they have relevance in terms of wider approaches to the prevention of dementia.
- Healthy Ireland Survey 2015 Summary of Findings can be accessed here.
- Healthy Ireland Survey 2016 Summary of Findings can be accessed here.
- Tobacco Free Ireland can be accessed here.
- Tobacco Free Ireland Action Plan can be accessed here.
- A Healthy Weight for Ireland: Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025 can be accessed here.
- Get Ireland Active: the National Physical Activity Plan can be accessed here.