‘Dementia health reform needed’ – Anderson

Serious reform is needed within the health system to protect the health and wellbeing of those living with dementia and their carers, Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said.

The Foyle MLA was commenting in support of an Assembly motion calling on the Health Department and Executive to adopt a dementia-friendly approach. 

Reflecting on her own experience of caring for her mother, Martina Anderson said: “I can attest that the system needs reform – serious reform if it’s to adopt a dementia-friendly approach.  

“My mother, four stone in weight – not able to walk, talk, or feed herself – cried out with fright when the system insisted she be hoisted out of her home bed, rather than manually lifted onto the chair and wheeled into the bathroom, and if we refused the hoist – the carers would be withdrawn.

“We needed those precious carers so it is incredibly cruel that families are given ultimatums at a time when they need to be supported most.

“That is just one example of the failings within the system.

“While this motion will not end the pain and suffering dementia causes, calling out bad practices, trying to end the stigma, and stating that local services must be more accessible is so necessary for so many people.”