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Planning dementia services: new estimates of current and future prevalence rates of dementia for Ireland

  • M. Pierce (a1), S. Cahill (a1) and E. O'Shea (a2)
Abstract
Objectives

The paper provides new estimates of dementia prevalence at a national and local level in Ireland and new projections of future numbers of people with dementia.

Methods

The prevalence of dementia at a national and local level has been calculated by applying European Collaboration on Dementia (EuroCoDe) prevalence rates to data from the Census of Population 2006. The National Disability Survey has been used to estimate the number of people with Down syndrome and dementia. Projections of future numbers of people with dementia have been calculated by applying EuroCoDe prevalence rates to the most recently available population projections from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Results

It is estimated that there were 41 740 people with dementia in Ireland in 2006. Estimates show that there are clear regional differences in prevalence of dementia across Ireland, with the largest proportion of people with dementia in the West of Ireland, and the Dublin North Eastern region having the lowest share of dementia. Our best estimate is that there are 700 people with Down syndrome and dementia in Ireland. Applying EuroCoDe prevalence rates to the most recent CSO population projections shows that the prevalence of dementia in Ireland will increase to between 67 493 and 70 000 in 2021 and to between 140 580 and 147 000 in 2041.

Conclusions

Although there are several limitations to these estimates, the data provide timely and useful information for planning effective health and social care services, as well as raising public and professional awareness about dementia at a national level.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: M. Pierce, Research Fellow, Living with Dementia Programme, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland. (Email piercema@tcd.ie)
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Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
  • URL: /core/journals/irish-journal-of-psychological-medicine
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