The HSE & Genio has published the first comprehensive Community Supports Model for People with Dementia in Ireland to mark World Alzheimer’s Day 2016. Although informed by international learning, this model is a unique Irish innovation and draws from the experience of four key demonstration projects undertaken across Ireland from 2012-15. The focus of this work has been on dementia but the learning from the model also has potential for all older people’s services and other service areas in Ireland and internationally.
The model puts people with dementia and their families at the centre of service design and demonstrates an approach which engages with the wider community and mainstream services, as well as health and social care services. This offers a potential alternative to residential care and focuses on supporting people at home in their own communities for as long as possible.
An economic analysis of the four demonstration projects which informed the development of the model has been conducted by Professor Eamon O’Shea and colleagues in the National Centre for Social Research on Dementia, NUIG. The study identified that for those on the boundary between community and residential care the estimated potential maximum saving associated with the programme was €3,169,561 for 181 people. The study concluded that, “the time is right to radically change the resource allocation system for community care in Ireland to reflect the social model of care. For a relatively small investment in innovative, personalised supports lives can be transformed and residential care costs postponed” (E. O’Shea and C. Monaghan, 2016).