The HSE & Genio were delighted to welcome delegates to Cork on Thursday March 23rd for a regional seminar on Innovation and Learning in Dementia Care for the Southern HSE regions (CHO 4 & 5). Opening the event Gabrielle O’Keeffe, Head of Social Care, Cork and Kerry Community Health Organisation set the context for the work that is being undertaken in the region.
“I’m sure you’re all very familiar with the challenge that is facing us as a society in regard to an aging population. While there are certainly many benefits to increased longevity, there are also many challenges and the challenges for people with dementia are that much greater. It behoves us all as a society and as a health service to look to see how we can make our services real and responsive.”
The seminar provided an opportunity to learn about innovative developments in dementia care in both community and hospital settings in the region. This included presentations of the community based work being undertaken by the Crystal Project in Mallow, Living Well with Dementia in South Tipperary, Memory Matters (Kilkenny/Carlow) and Kinsale Community Response to Dementia (K-CoRD); along with learnings to date from the Cork Integrated Dementia Care Across Settings (Cork-IDEAS) project which is a Mercy University Hospital and Community partnership to improve dementia care.
Anna de Siún, Senior Project Manager, HSE National Dementia Office provided an overview of the national dementia ‘Understand Together’ campaign and the National Dementia Strategy which was established,
“to enable people with dementia to maintain their identity, resilience and dignity by recognising that they are valued self-determined citizens who along with their carer have the right to be fully included as active citizens in society.”
The event concluded with opportunity for peer-to-peer and cross-disciplinary learning and networking through roundtable discussions. Podcasts and presentations from the event are available here. This is the first of a number of HSE & Genio regional dementia events which will take place in a number of locations in the coming months.
The HSE & Genio Dementia Programme, with support from the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Health Service Executive (HSE) has been underway since 2012. It is developing and testing new service models to improve the range and quality of community-based supports for people with dementia; inform public policy and investment in this area; and build the leadership in the field that is necessary in order to capitalise on the potential of the National Dementia Strategy.
Photo: L-R Anne O’Hea, Dr Suzanne Timmons, Margaret McKiernan, Mary Mannix and Siobhán Cahill, Cork-IDEAS project.