Pharmacists team up with HSE to promote Dementia Understand Together campaign

The HSE and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) are teaming up to raise public awareness of dementia through pharmacies across Ireland.  Information leaflets will be available, and posters will be on display, in pharmacies across the country from 27 March.

Dementia Understand Together is a public support, awareness and information campaign aimed at inspiring people from all sections of society to stand together to support  people living with dementia and their families.

There are currently 55,000 people in Ireland living with dementia.  All are living with a condition that deeply impacts their lives and the lives of those who love and care for them.

Mary Manning, National Dementia Office, HSE said, “1 in 2 Irish people know or have known someone with dementia. Despite this, only 1 in 4 people feel they have a good understanding of what dementia is and what it isn’t.  Fear is also a major factor when it comes to seeking diagnosis or help in relation to dementia with 1 in 4 people saying that they would delay seeking help*.

By increasing awareness we hope to break down some of the stigma and fear that surrounds dementia and show that with the right support people can live well with dementia. The HSE is proud to be working with the IPU to promote dementia awareness in communities across Ireland”.

As two thirds of people living with dementia live in our communities, a central part of the Understand Together campaign is building partnerships with businesses and organisations across all sectors in Ireland to help build supportive, compassionate and inclusive communities for those affected by dementia.

Daragh Connolly, IPU President said, “The IPU is pleased to be working with Dementia Understand Together and the HSE to promote better awareness of dementia through its members. Pharmacists play a central role in communities as trusted sources of information and support. Pharmacists often provide vital support for those concerned about their health and also sources of advice and information for people who have received diagnoses or commenced treatments for conditions such as dementia.”


For more information please contact:

HSE National Press Office

01 6362840 / press@hse.ie

*(B&A Consulting National Representative Survey carried out for Understand Together campaign 2016)

Notes to Editors:

Dementia Understand Together is a public awareness and information campaign led by the HSE working with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Genio. It aims to promote better understanding of dementia and inspire individuals, businesses and organisations and local communities to include and support people affected by dementia. www.understandtogether.ie

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is the representative and professional body for community pharmacists in Ireland. Currently, over 2,200 pharmacists are registered as members of the IPU – the vast majority are community pharmacists. This represents 95% of community pharmacies in Ireland. www.ipu.ie

About Dementia

  • 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland today with this number expected to double by 2036.
  • 500,000 Irish people have had a family member with dementia.
  • Over 4,000 people develop dementia each year- at least 11 people every day
  • 1 in 10 people with dementia in Ireland are under 65
  • Dementia is not a single disease – it describes a range of symptoms caused by diseases of the brain. These symptoms affect multiple brain functions including memory, behaviour and our ability to do everyday tasks.
  • The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This accounts for about two thirds of all cases of dementia.
  • The second most common type is vascular dementia, which is caused by conditions which affect the blood circulation in the brain
  • Most people with dementia are older but it is important to remember that not all older people get dementia – 9 out of 10 older people do not have dementia.
  • Although the majority of people with dementia are over 65 years of age, dementia can and does affect younger people.
  • Dementia is different for everyone – what people experience, and how quickly they are affected is unique to them. What they can do, remember and understand may change from day to day.
  • There is currently no cure for dementia but there are treatments, supports and services available that can help people live well with dementia for many years.
  • You can reduce your risk of developing some types of dementia by leading a healthy lifestyle- eating a healthy, balanced diet; not smoking, keeping physically and socially active, keeping your alcohol intake below with recommended limits, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping a check on your blood pressure and keeping your mind active through reading, puzzles, learning new skills.

See understandtogether.ie for more information.