“Dementia Understand Together” and Bus Éireann bring a festive-sing-along to people travelling home for Christmas - Press Release 2016

Dementia Understand Together and Bus Éireann, along with The Forget-Me-Nots choir from Baldoyle, joined together for a festive sing-along at Busáras, today Thursday, 22nd December 2016, entertaining and wishing a safe trip to all those beginning to travel home for the Christmas period. The Forget-Me-Nots are an inclusive community choir for older people, family, friends and neighbours especially welcoming people with dementia. The community choir participants are drawn from local HSE Day Centres, the Alzheimer Society, local residential nursing homes, social clubs and from the wider Dublin North East community. 

This event is being held as part of the Dementia Understand Together campaign, to raise public awareness of dementia and build community support for people with dementia, their families and carers. The campaign is led by the HSE, working with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Genio, and supported by over 30 partners, including Bus Éireann.  It is estimated that over 55,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland and approximately 500,000 people live in families that have been touched by dementia.

Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, National Director, HSE Health & Wellbeing said, "This is a very special day for us all.  As people head home for Christmas our aim is to show that we can all play a role in helping to build inclusive and compassionate communities across Ireland to support and involve those living with dementia and their loved ones. 

Dr. O’Keeffe continued, “Building and sustaining compassionate communities supportive of people with dementia and carers is a challenge which many key organisations, like Bus Éireann, have signed up to play a part in tackling. Our Dementia Understand Together campaign hopes to build and maintain social and community ties, an important element in helping people live well with dementia and in helping to support their loved ones.”

Suzanne Altman, Press Officer, Bus Éireann said, “We are delighted to have Forget-Me-Nots perform live in Busáras and we hope all our customers travelling home for Christmas will enjoy the sing along. Our network of services across the country connect many communities, and as an organisation we are delighted to support the Forget-Me-Nots community choir and Dementia Understand Together campaign”.

Dr. O’Keeffe closed by saying, ‘Many of us live in families affected by dementia, and Christmas can be a wonderful but also overwhelming time for people with dementia and their families.  However, with the support of friends, family and visitors, and some planning adjustments, we can make it enjoyable for everyone. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland provide excellent advice on making those plans – covering useful tips like reaching out to friends and family for support, and talking together as a family about the Christmas plans and deciding what is likely to work best for you’.

Last updated on: 22 / 12 / 2016