On Monday, The Rural Dementia Conference 2018 was held at Glenlo Abbey Hotel near Galway, Ireland.

The event was hosted by Dementia Ireland and FORUM Connemara and included people living with Dementia, family members and carers as well as medical professionals, policy makers, PhD students , local businesses and broadcast on You Tube.

Agnes Houston, from Scotland, was the first to speak, and some of the interesting comments I noted during the day, include:

Some services are: “Square pegs in round holes”

Scottish Dementia Champions: “Dementia Champions challenged by time and distance getting between visits”

Anti-Psychotic use: “27% of people living with Dementia in 12 Western countries,  were prescribed Anti-Psychotics on average”

Being a carer: “You are not being selfish in taking care of yourself”

Stigma: “Stigma, a huge problem for many”

Respite at home: “The most beneficial for the person with Dementia, their carer and family”

Human Rights: “We’re not talking about putting sticking plasters on”

Whilst I wasn’t there and only got to see some of the sessions on You Tube, it was clear that things are moving on from awareness to engagement and action in Ireland.

Empowerment from the point of diagnosis, including support, rehabilitation and counselling for the person receiving the diagnosis and their family along with involving them in developing new pathways, services and respecting Human Rights.

Moving away from the one size fits all model to inclusion and choice, enabling not disabling.

“Remember to enable, not do for”

Towards the end of the day, Chris Roberts and his wife Jayne, from Wales, talked about their life with Dementia.

Sadly for Chris and his wife Jayne, their time in Ireland was spoilt by the proprietor of Flaherty’s Pharmacy, Main Street Oughterard, Co. Galway:


as Jayne Goodrick said previously at the Alzheimer’s Society Conference in London

“Everything has changed, and nothing has changed”