Cuimhne (pronounced ‘queevna’) is the Irish word for memory. We use the term ‘memory loss’ as it is more acceptable to many members of the Irish community than the term ‘dementia’, which is stigmatised.
We also believe using this term aims to recognise the uniqueness of each person and the differing ways in which people are affected by, and cope with memory loss.
Central to our plan is to support family carers as well as individuals who may have some form of memory loss.
Watch our new video ‘My Story’, which is to help carers and family members use a forthcoming Memory Book to support people with memory loss and dementia.
The 2011 Census identified the Irish as having the oldest aged profile than any other ethnic group in Britain. Out of 500,000 in the group, 204,000 are over the age of 60 with a further 80,000 between the ages of 50 and 60 years. 11% of the Irish community identified as being a family carer – many carers are elders with health needs.
The older age profile of the Irish population in Britain compared to the general population and other minority ethnic groups is inevitably accompanied by problems of (mostly preventable) ill–health. Although there is no empirical evidence relating to dementia, community organisations are daily faced with significant numbers of people with memory loss, most of which is undiagnosed or untreated.
Given the incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke and hypertension in the Irish community, the risk of vascular dementia may well be higher than the age profile of the population suggests. The poor socio–economic circumstances of a significant proportion of the older population living in areas of marked multiple deprivation, confounds their ability to access health and social care in an equitable or timely manner.
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