Dementia: Understand Together – February Update

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COVID-19 has had an effect on all of our lives, and the last year has been particularly difficult for people living dementia and their families. Many have been staying at home to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19. Some of the services they relied upon had to be changed to respond to COVID-19, and they may have been missing important social connections and activities so crucial for wellbeing. Thankfully, COVID-19 vaccines are already bringing hope to our communities. Following the vaccination of those aged 65 or over in long term residential care and frontline healthcare workers, those aged over 85 are now being invited for vaccination.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 in our communities, many partner organisations and community champions continued to take actions to support and include people with dementia and their families.

2020 Dementia campaign overview
We have put together an overview of campaign, partner and champion activities in 2020, knowing that this only captures some of the many local and national dementia initiatives that are taking place on an ongoing basis across the country. It is fantastic to see the many actions and we look forward to working together with you again this year. If we can help with any activities or highlight actions through our social media, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dementia Awareness Online Training
Together with our partner The Alzheimer Society of Ireland we provide Dementia Awareness Training online. This course provides an excellent introduction to dementia – prevalence, symptoms, and the impact of dementia on the person and their families. Participants have the opportunity to listen to the voice of the person with dementia through different media, and hear their personal accounts of the disease and how it affects them. Together we discuss the small things everyone can do to make a difference in their own communities or workplaces. If you would like to learn more about the course, you can contact Fergus Timmons, the Alzheimer Society’s Learning and Development Manager, at fergus.timmons@alzheimer.ie

Campaign Resources
We developed a variety of campaign resources, such as badges, posters, flyers, window stickers and tipsheets for organisations which can all be ordered free of charge from the Health Promotion website https://scanner.topsec.com/?t=2924de42babde5d7676eb33eff344fbbe1630467&d=1400&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.healthpromotion.ie%2Fpublication%2FfullListing%3Fcategory%3DDementia%26searchHSE%3D%26submit_pub_search.x%3D30%26submit_pub_search.y%3D23
This is the link to a 5 minute dementia awareness video “Learn Listen Link” https://scanner.topsec.com/?t=67a466d582e2f09868161c1be89cd35c5d320b87&d=1400&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Du_TfuGne-v0%26t%3D3s which includes the new dementia prevalence figures and can also be shared through your networks.

Story-telling is an important aspect of our work to inspire others to get involved in the campaign and take actions in their communities. Sometimes we don’t realize that we have a story to share, but no matter how big or small the actions are, they make a difference in a person’s life. I attach a template that might be helpful and which you can use to capture your actions/stories/pictures or quotes. Please return these to sinead.oreilly@hse.ie and we will highlight your stories through social media or other communications.

Update of database
We are currently in the process of updating our database. We are hoping to create a network of organisations and community champions within communities, who can link in with one another to share best practice, information or an initiative that is happening locally. We would be grateful if you could please fill in the attached form and return this to Sinead.oreilly@hse.ie so that we can ensure that we have up to date contact details.