Long Term Care and Dementia

The vast majority of people with dementia live at home. While it is difficult to identify the exact number of people with dementia living in residential or nursing home care, it is estimated that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 people with dementia in these type of care settings (O’Shea et al, 2017).

One of the actions of the National Dementia Strategy (2014) is to examine a range of appropriate long-term care options that can accommodate the diverse needs of people living with dementia in Ireland. To address this, a review of the continuum of care for people with dementia was undertaken in 2019. The review examines different models of care, focusing also on innovation, identifying good and best practice.

The authors of the review identify five principles which should be applied across long-term care policy, those are:

  • Place
  • Personhood
  • Choice
  • Autonomy
  • Connectivity

The Continuum of Care for People with Dementia in Ireland

Other key findings, which inform best practice along the continuum of care, stem from the HSE and Genio’s work on the delivery and evaluation of Dementia Intensive Home Care Packages (Dementia-IHCP). The Dementia-IHCP provided tailored supports in a personalised way to individuals living at home. Funding was initially secured through the National Dementia Strategy for this innovative approach but since 2017 the delivery of Dementia-IHCPs has been integrated into HSE services.