Briefing Paper on Dementia Advisors

Briefing Paper on Dementia Advisors

The paper explores the Dementia Advisor Role which focuses on the provision of information to people with dementia and their carers, the signposting of the dementia journey and the provision of support on that journey. The evidence relating to the role of Dementia Advisors in other jurisdictions is provided, with an exploration of the impact of these roles on the person with dementia, carers and the health and social care system. The paper also describes some of the functions and tasks undertaken by the role and the learning which has resulted from the use of Dementia Advisors within both the international and Irish context. This paper was submitted to the Working Group developing the Irish National Dementia Strategy.

Preliminary evidence does support the development of dementia advisor roles an efficient way of providing the information and support to people with dementia and their families and carers, and the following key points emerged as pivotal to effective implemenation of such a role;

  • Defining the role can be difficult as it is unclear what components need to be present to ensure it is as efficient and effective as possible.
  • Integral to the role of the dementia advisor is the need to build strong linkages with statutory, voluntary and private health and social care providers.
  • To facilitate this process there is a need for a clear definition of the role so as to avoid confusion and duplication of effort and ensure appropriate referrals can be made from multiple sources. 
  • In order to provide a service that is tailored to the individual needs of its clients there is clearly also a need for flexibility within the role. 
  • Dementia advisor roles cannot be developed in isolation but need to be part of the innovative development of dementia care in Ireland today, acting as a bridge for the person with dementia to find the support and information they need at each point in their journey.

Disability and mental health in Ireland

Searching out good practice

This is a report of research carried out in Ireland to identify initiatives which support people with disabilities and mental health difficulties in ways that are person-centred and encourage self-determination. The report also describes a set of criteria which were developed to assess the extent the practice of these initiatives was person-centred and cost-effective. A selected review of international literature is included in the report.

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