WICKLOW’S Izzie Kinsella, National Activities Coordinator of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (The ASI), is one of the leading lights behind an innovative post-primary school programme aimed at educating young people about dementia.
Izzy celebrated the success of ASI’s ‘Creating a Dementia Inclusive Generation' Transition Year Programme at Our Lady’s Hospice (OLH), Harold’s Cross Dublin in the Lead-Up to Brain Awareness Week. The event featured speakers such as Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler TD, Director of The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre (DSIDC), Matthew Gibb, and past programme participants.
‘Creating a Dementia Inclusive Generation’ educates young people about the impact dementia has, not only on the person living with Dementia but also its impact on the extended family and the Carers. They provide students and teachers with the necessary tools to run this programme, which is free of cost. Over 2,400 students in 50 schools, including Colaiste Chill Mhantain in Wicklow town, across 17 counties have engaged with the programme since its launch in 2022. ,
Izzy said: “The ASI are very excited to celebrate the success of this innovative programme. We can sense the energy and enthusiasm from students, teachers, and those in our communities about the programme.
“Young people are eager to learn more about dementia. With a growing number of people diagnosed with Dementia each year and one in three young people being affected by this disease, it is more important than ever that we teach today's youth how to cope when someone they know and love is diagnosed with Dementia.
"We’re thrilled with the response we have received so far; and I’d like to encourage any schools in the Wicklow area to sign up to this programme. If you would like to be part of creating a dementia inclusive generation and are interested in this programme, we ask you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .”
The Transition Year programme was created with the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre (DSIDC) at St James’ Hospital Dublin. The project is an official Challenge Partner with An Gaisce The President’s Award, which includes the added opportunity for Gaisce participants to fulfil challenge area requirements.