Facts and Figures

55,000 people in Ireland are living with dementia

Half a million of us have had a family member with dementia

Each year over 4,000 people develop dementia

That’s at least 11 people everyday

Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, neighbours and friends

1 in 2 people in Ireland know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia

But only 1 in 4 say they have a good understanding of dementia

Anyone can get dementia - even people in their 30s/40s/50s

1 in 10 people diagnosed with dementia in Ireland are under 65

The number of people with dementia in Ireland is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, from 55,000 today to 113,000 in 2036

Two thirds of people living with dementia in Ireland are women

Over 180,000 people in Ireland are currently or have been carers for a family member or partner with dementia with many more providing support and care in other ways

What is dementia?

Dementia is caused by different diseases of the brain. These diseases affect the parts of the brain which are normally used for learning, memory, decision-making and language.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia and accounts for about two-thirds of cases.

Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia and is caused by diseases which affect the blood circulation in the brain

Dementia can affect people in different ways, but common symptoms  include memory loss, confusion with time or place, difficulty communicating, issues with problem solving and changes in behaviour.

The majority of people with dementia are over 65


Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Nine out of ten people over 65 do NOT have dementia.

Dementia is progressive. There is currently no cure.

Fear and stigma surround dementia. People are often afraid or embarrassed to talk to people they know with dementia, and this can lead to a lot of unnecessary loneliness.

Fear can also mean that people are slow to seek help, missing out on support and services. Support and services can help people to live well with dementia for many years, maintaining their dignity and a quality of life.

Dementia is not simply a health issue but a social issue that requires a community response.

Risk and prevention

The risk of developing dementia can be reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle 

  • being active physically, mentally and socially
  • eating a healthy diet and monitoring your weight
  • not smoking
  • avoiding excess alcohol consumption
  • getting your blood pressure checked and getting it treated if it is high

 Download our Understand Together Infographic