‘We will improve support for 2,800 people living with dementia here’

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The director of older people’s services in the Derry area says he’s committed to improving support for the 2,800 people in the Western Trust living with dementia.

Alan Corry Finn, Executive Director of Nursing and Primary Care and Older People’s Services at the Western Trust, revealed that people with dementia currently make up a quarter of our hospital population and that this quota is only likely to grow as Derry continues to age.

Mr. Corry Finn was speaking as over 120 local health care professionals, charity representatives and carers gathered for an international dementia conference in the City Hotel on Thursday.

Mr. Corry Finn said: “We live within an aging population, people are living longer and unfortunately dementia is becoming more and more prevalent.

“There is approximately 2,800 people living within the Western Trust area with dementia.

“This poses a challenge, not least to the person living with the condition, but also to their family, carers, general support network and the healthcare service.

“At any one time, people with a diagnosis of dementia make up over one quarter of our hospital population.

“People who have dementia also experience many more complications and may stay longer in hospital.”

One of the guest speakers was Eloy Van Hal from the Netherlands, a co-founder of the De Hogeweyk ‘Dementia Village’ in the Netherlands.

Other renowned speakers at the conference included, Dr. Suzanne Timmons, a consultant geriatrician and senior lecturer at University College, Cork, Dr. Bernadette McGuinness, a consultant geriatrician and senior lecturer at QUB, and Rosemary Wilson, a legal health and social care education consultant.

Mr. Corry Finn said it was a privilege to share the speakers’ insights.

He said: “We were delighted to have Eloy Van Hal, senior consultant and co-founder of the De Hogeweyk, Dementia Village in the Netherlands.

“Eloy and the other speakers are experts in dementia care. Their collective knowledge and experience challenges us all to improve the quality of care for people with dementia and their carers.

“Through thought provoking presentations, networking and peer discussions, participants were given the opportunity to learn more about innovative person-centered care, and best practice models of dementia care.

“This invaluable information can now be considered in the future design of services and dementia care pathways.”