DOWN District SDLP Councillor and the party’s local Health spokesperson Colin McGrath has called on Government to take action and strategically plan for the future of dementia services in Down District and across the North.
Cllr McGrath said, “I was alarmed to read that the number of people suffering from dementia in the North of Ireland is set to rise much quicker than anywhere else in the UK. It has been reported that Northern Ireland is the fastest growth area in the UK for those living with dementia. These were the findings of an ARK study (joint initiative between Queen’s University, Belfast, and the University of Ulster). As such the Government of Northern Ireland must ensure that funding is secured and ring fenced for sufferers who will need care, treatment and support services in the months and years ahead.
“The Government must also be doing their utmost to inform the public about dementia, its causes, its symptoms and what can be done to help people living with dementia and those caring for people with dementia. Public perception in relation to dementia is very poor and I believe this boils down to lack of knowledge on the illness.
“Dementia is a difficult illness to understand and to cope with for both the individual concerned and their families/carers so the more assistance, support and guidance from central Government the better,” added Cllr McGrath.