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Nessa Childers organises seminar with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on dementia

Friday 17 June 2011

Nessa Childers, MEP (Ireland) organised a seminar entitled “Shared Priorities – Dementia and Alzheimer policy in Europe and Ireland” on 17 June in Dublin, Ireland. The seminar offered a platform for policy and planning experts from Europe and Ireland to explore ways in which to help people with dementia and their families as well as ways in which to prevent the onset of dementia.

Ms Childers said: “Our health care system as its stands discriminates against older people, this may not be the intention but reflects a mind-set when it comes to spending policy. I’m calling for the end of the discrimination against illness of later life where there is a cap on medical care for older people that would not be tolerated in cancer care or care for children.”

Ms Childers focused on the EU Joint Action on Alzheimer’s initiative, which was launched early this year in an effort to step up cooperation and support to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care across the EU.

Ms Childers introduced the following amendments to the new EU Initiative:

  • To focus on specific needs of women, who account for twice the amount of people living with dementia, or caring for a family member with dementia.
  • To focus on a healthy diet as current research suggests that diet may be a significant causal factor in the development of Alzheimer's.
  • That the EU examines use of living wills.

Speakers at the seminar included Maurice O'Connell Alzheimer Society of Ireland; Deirdre Downes, Carer; Dominic Trepel, Health Economist, University of Limerick; Dr. Suzanne Cahill TCD; Michael Smith, Dept. of Health; Enda Connolly, The Health Research Board; Patricia Rickard-Clark, Law Reform Commission; Jean Georges, Alzheimer Europe and Dr. Roisín Rooney, European Commission.

The presentations from the seminar are available on request from Nessa Childers' Ireland East Office

For further information please see the article entitled “Discrimination against 'Illness of later life' must end” on the labour website at: