Information evening on dementia

An information evening on dementia will be held at the Menlo Park Hotel tonight (Thursday ) at 7.30pm.

The talk, which is being hosted by the award winning Village Nursing Care Centre in Craughwell, will cover the early detection and management of dementia as well as care in the home.

Speakers on the night are Joanne Flood, education officer at Highfield Hospital, and John Grant, the chief executive of Western Alzheimer’s.

Ms Flood is a registered psychiatric nurse with more than 10 years’ experience in dementia care in acute and long-term care settings, gerontological nursing, liaison psychiatry, and crisis management in dementia care in the community. A dementia care mapper, she holds qualifications in gerontological nursing and an MSc in the mental health of older people.

Western Alzheimer’s was set up by Claremorris man John Grant in 1994. In the early nineties he facilitated a number of support group meetings, during which time it became evident that there was very little help or information available for carers.

Acknowledging the shortfall in services he set up an in-home support service for people caring for family members with Alzheimer’s disease. In 1999 Western Alzheimer’s opened Ireland’s first purpose built respite home for Alzheimer sufferers in Ballindine, Co Mayo and in 2002 the association purchased Maryfield Nursing Home in Athenry. Plans are also under way for the development of a new unit in Galway city later this year.

Mr Grant says it is “extremely important” that carers understand the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease and know what to expect in the future.

“There are currently over 5,000 people in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon with Alzheimer’s and this number is going to grow over the coming years. There has been an alarming increase in the number of people under the age of 65 being diagnosed with the disease.”

The director of nursing at the Village Nursing Care Centre, Mary O’Dowd, explains the importance of education initiatives for carers.

“We are hosting this event as part of our ongoing education programme. Our care centre regularly facilitates information evenings focusing on topics of interest to carers and older people. We are delighted to have John Grant and Joanne Flood speaking at this event.

The information evening is open to the public and healthcare professionals. Admission is free with donations to Western Alzheimer’s welcome. For more information contact the Village Nursing Care Centre on (091 ) 777700 or log onto www.thevillagecare.ie

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