Were you watching the Late Late Show on Friday night? Kathy Ryan, only in her mid 50s and looking a decade younger, talked about how she copes day to day since she received her diagnosis in January and of her hopes and fears for the future. Sean Donal O’Shea spoke about caring for his mother, how they deal with it on a day to day basis and how she inspired him to change his career path after witnessing her courage since being diagnosed.
The interviews on the Late Late Show will help to bring dementia out of the shadows, it will help those with no experience of dementia to understand it from a personal and a carer point of view. Kathy and Sean Donal’s bravery in speaking out will not only open people’s eyes but also serve to support those living with dementia by helping to break down stigma and by growing awareness of how dementia can affect people and how each of us can help. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions which cause changes and damage to the brain.
Did you know that there are approximately 48,000 people living with dementia in Ireland? This number is expected to increase significantly in the coming years; rising to 68,216 people by 2021 and to 132,000 people by 2041. Not only will more care be necessary in the future but more awareness too. Kathy Ryan, who has early onset Alzheimer’s, commented on how people’s reactions can be hurtful. How she has found it hurtful that people have avoided meeting her eye or turned around to avoid having to speak to her, how people queuing behind her have been impatient if she is slow – society needs to be educated, people need a greater understanding to appreciate how to help those with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.
What often surprises people is the fact that the majority of people with dementia (63%) live at home in the community. Most people living with dementia are cared for by a family member and there are approximately 50,000 dementia family carers in Ireland. As Sean Donal O’Shea said on Friday night, as family carers for his mother, they hugely appreciate the help and support from professional carers. Not only, does it give them a break but it also provides them with reassurance that they are doing the right thing.
As professional carers, Comfort Keepers Home Carers supports those with dementia who are living at home, we support family carers in providing daily care, we can help family carers by offering respite. If you are a family carer and would like more help and support from a professional carer, do get in touch.
If you would like to work as a professional carer, making a difference to the lives of the person with dementia or other needs, helping family carers, do apply via our Vacancies page.