The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is calling for more support from the Government to assist with the phased reopening of day centres and services for people with dementia.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Tina Leonard, Alzheimer Society of Ireland Head of Advocacy and Public Affairs, said carers are reporting feelings of "worry, fear, and stress" due to the deterioration of the symptoms of their loved ones since the beginning of the pandemic.

"They are reporting grief and powerlessness without the adequate support that they need to deal with all of it," Ms Leonard said.

She said people with dementia are suffering setbacks due to the lack of peer stimulation that would normally be provided by attending day centres.

"The impact of the social measures is detrimental to the health of those with dementia and on their carers," she said.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland had previously found that each county in Ireland did not have minimum amount of the appropriate services before the pandemic.

"Infrastructural support is needed," she said. "Without further investment from the HSE and the Government, how can we open all the centres so that they are Covid-acceptable?"

Ms Leonard said people with earlier stage dementia are seeing first-hand the deterioration of others.

Speaking on the same programme Nora Owen, a former Minister for Justice, whose husband Brian has dementia, said she has noticed a deterioration in his condition since the beginning of the pandemic.

She said the removal of day care services, both HSE and private, is reducing the much-needed socialisation which can prevent deterioration.  

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