“Hope in the Age of Dementia” new programme exploring international developments in dementia, includes NUI Galway research centre

NUI Galway Initiatives Shine a Light on Support for Older Adults

Facebook Live Event to explore Issues facing older people in the age of COVID-19

A new documentary and live event from NUI Galway aim to broaden the debate about the public policy options that can best support our ageing population into the future.

This Thursday, 2 July, members of the public are invited to participate in a live Facebook event looking at issues facing older people and public policy in the age of COVID-19.  Featuring international policy experts on ageing, the Facebook Live event will explore three themes – inequalities and inclusion, care and carers and rights and representation.  The discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities that the new Government will face in creating policy for the members of our society that are most vulnerable during the current pandemic.

Professor Kieran Walsh, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, said: “The Pandemic has given us a unique opportunity to reflect on how we view and support ageing and older people through our public policy systems and social discourses. This is really critical if we want to ensure that we engage and empower diverse groups of older adults in the best way possible into the future.”

Separately, a new documentary “Hope in the Age of Dementia”, launched by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), the global voice on Dementia, and ITN Productions will feature The Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia (CESRD), NUI Galway.  The programme showcases the latest international developments in care, research and technology for people with dementia, with a special focus on advancing and accelerating solutions for Alzheimer’s disease globally.

Dementia affects more than 55,000 people in Ireland and 50 million people worldwide. This programme hears from international leaders in the field of neuroscience and neurodegeneration, explaining the importance of new treatment pathways, early diagnostic tools, clinical trials, risk reduction, timely diagnosis and health and social care innovation.

CESRD researchers highlight the importance of connecting and engaging with people with dementia both locally and nationally to ensure that research and policy reflects their priorities and needs. The importance of enhanced home support for people with dementia and family carers is also emphasised in the film.

Eamon O’Shea, Director of the CESRD, said: “I think what really matters is that people with dementia remain deeply connected to place, family and friends. The challenge is to recalibrate public spending in a way that makes this happen. That means more spending on home care services and supports in the future.”

The programme focuses on the research work of the CESRD and the importance and impact of the Understand Together dementia awareness campaign in Ireland. It also features Helen-Rochford-Brennan, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2012. Since her diagnosis, Helen has become a champion for dementia research, policy and advocacy in Ireland and internationally. She is the current Chairperson of the European Working Group of People with Dementia. In this programme, Helen talks about the impact of receiving a diagnosis of dementia and how participating in research has given her a new sense of purpose and hope for the future.

You can watch the CESRD contribution here:

Watch the new documentary and discussion on discuss “Older People and Public Policy in the Age of COVID-19”, organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, live on Facebook at on Thursday, 2 July at 6pm.

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