Four days after guiding Tipperary to the Munster senior hurling title, manager Eamon O’Shea was in Leinster House highlighting the success of a pilot dementia project in South Tipperary.
A professor at NUI Galway, O’Shea has been evaluating the project - Five Steps to Living Well with Dementia in South Tipperary - and was urging TDs and Senators to help secure future funding for the prjoect as well us using it as a model for dementia treatment across the country.
He was joined by project lead Dr Caitriona Crowe, who outlined the success to date of the scheme to members of the Joint Committee on Health and Children.
Their presentation to the committeee was facilitated by South Tipperary TD Seamus Healy who said after that the members were hugely impressed with what they heard from Dr Crowe and Professor O’Shea.
“It showcased the great work being done in South Tipperary on this pilot project and it is now hoped that it can be rolled out nationally based on this model.
“It is also hoped that funding to continue the South Tipperary project can be secured and I will be working with the group to help achieve this”, the Independent TD said.
The Tipperary scheme received funding from Atlantic Philanthropies and the HSE through the Genio Trust to run its operations but the current project ends in October this year and funding actually ends on August 29.
Dr Crowe told the politicians - “All our team and the inter-connected teams are very committed to ensuring that the services and individual supports that we have worked so hard to develop will continue and are mainstreamed.
“We are talking to the HSE to deliver on this objective which is completely in line with the objectives of the National Dementia Strategy.
“We have come so far in this three year period, we have delivered such positive outcomes for people with dementia and their families in South Tipperary and we really want to retain this service and support its further roll-out nationally.”
Professor O’Shea described dementia as today’s most important ageing question and said there was a need to mobilise intellectual resources in support of a national strategy.
He said it was important to create an awarenessd and understanding of dementia among the public and he asked - “Do we have the vision, courage and capacity to imagine and initiate a new paradigm for people with dementia and to activate the National Dementia Strategy to support that new paradigm?”