Understand Together Programme

 Understand Together is a public support, awareness and information programme. It is aimed at inspiring people from all sections of society to stand together with the 500,000 Irish people whose families have been affected by dementia. The programme aims to help create an Ireland that embraces and includes people living with dementia, and which displays solidarity with them and their loved ones.

A central part of the programme is a one stop online resource for the general public www.understandtogether.ie ​. As well as the website, the programme uses advertising and the media to increase awareness. The aim is to inspire new groups, organisations and communities to think about ways in which they can contribute to building an Ireland that supports those living with dementia and their families in a better way. 

This can be done by encouraging individuals, businesses and other organisations to take small practical steps to help build compassionate communities that provide vital social support to those experiencing dementia. 

These are the wide ranging objectives of the Understand Together programme:

  • To increase awareness of dementia and its impact on individuals, families and communities.
  • To help communicate the lived experience of people living with dementia and those caring for them.
  • To provide reliable information about dementia and signposting to services and supports to help those living with dementia, those caring for them, health professionals and the general public.
  • To build on and support greater co-ordination of dementia programmes and initiatives across Ireland.
  • To promote the uptake of dementia awareness training and promote information about brain health and ways to prevent dementia.
  • To inspire and encourage individuals, businesses and organisations and communities to become involved in taking steps to create inclusive and supportive environments for people with dementia and their loved ones.
  • To promote and highlight the actions of individuals, businesses and communities to support people with dementia and their loved ones.

Understand Together is one of six key elements of the National Dementia Strategy and has been made possible through a funding partnership between the State and The Atlantic Philanthropies.  The programme is led by the HSE in partnership with the ASI, Healthy Ireland, Age Friendly Ireland, Age and Opportunity and the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre. 

The programme seeks to build on the wide range of dementia-specific programmes and initiatives already in place around Ireland. It will draw together the people and organisations involved in this work, to join them with wider society, with the health service, with new Partners and Supporters like retail and transport organisations, financial services, and with neighbours and friends, to create a national movement which will help support those living with dementia and their loved ones.

For further information visit understandtogether.ie