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Launch of new guides for family members and carers of people with dementia

Author: Miriam Donohoe
08 June 2015

The Irish Hospice Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland today (Monday June 8th) formally launched three new factsheets aimed at family members and carers of those with dementia.

The factsheets will be a valuable guide to those caring for people with dementia and are designed to help them understand the disease as it progresses and give tips on loss and grief. They were launched as part of National Carers Week 2015.                                                                                                                                            

According to Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare programmes, Irish Hospice Foundation: “We know from our work in this area that some people with dementia and many family carers want information about what to expect in the future, and to understand the changes that dementia brings.  These fact sheets provide some signposts and tips to help carers of people with dementia navigate their way as they support their loved one; whilst also acknowledging the loss they may be experiencing.  We were delighted to collaborate with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to develop these factsheets, which we hope will be useful to people across the country living with and caring for a person with dementia. “

Annie Dillon from the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland said: “Carers play a pivotal role in supporting their loved one – whether they are at home, in residential care or hospital.  These 3 fact sheets are part of a series that ASI have developed to create a greater understanding of dementia; these particular factsheets are a useful tool to enable carers understand the range of symptoms a person with dementia may face at the late stage of the disease, as well as the extent of grief and loss that carers experience.  These factsheets will undoubtedly support carers in their role.”

The leaflets were launched by Prof Suzanne Cahill of Trinity College who said: “I am delighted to be launching these factsheets on behalf of IHF and ASI as part of Carers week.  People with dementia and their carers can face a difficult journey, and these fact sheets will fill an information gap and will be a very useful resource “

The 3 factsheets cover:

Understanding late stage dementia: Providing information about what to expect as dementia progresses to late stage. It aims to help families to understand some of the issues that can arise and to know where they can go for support and services.

Loss and grief when a family member has dementia: Providing information to family members on the different types of grief which can occur when someone has dementia. It also gives some tips on looking after yourself if your loved one moves into a nursing home.

Grieving after the death of a family member with dementia: Talking about grief and how people can be affected after the death of someone who had dementia.  It also gives some practical tips to support carers through their grief.

These factsheets are available from the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and are also available to download on:  http://hospicefoundation.ie/bereavement/bereavement-leaflets/

It is estimated that currently there are over 35,000 people with dementia in Ireland. With the population ageing, however, the figure is set to increase significantly over the next 20 years, as ageing remains one of the single strongest risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease, (the most common form of dementia).

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