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Cuimhne: Irish Memory Loss Alliance

Cuimhne: Irish Memory Loss Alliance (Cuimhne, pronounced queevna, is Irish word for memory) Irish in Britain is a national umbrella organisation with a membership of 90 organisations across Britain. Members range from welfare advice services, luncheon clubs and Irish social clubs. Those engaging with services are predominantly Irish or of Irish descent. The Irish in Britain have an aging population with 250,000 over the age of 60 and a further 80,000 between 50 and 60 years old.

22 November 2017
London, National

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Our role is to promote dialogue, advise and support the development of memory loss and carer services within our member organisations. We also aim to have the Irish community here in Britain to be the first ethnic minority community to be memory loss friendly.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

  1. Health and social care providers aggregate Irish under the ‘white ’ ethnicity category which renders Irish in Britain health needs invisible. 
  2. Health and socio-economic profile is similar to other BAME communities with significant disadvantages and experiences of discrimination
  3. An age profile which is older than any other BAME community or general population  
  4. Older Irish people reluctant to engage with mainstream services
  5. Lack of recognition that Irish have a distinct culture with specific cultural needs.
  6. Lack of research into Irish need
  7. Lack of understanding about dementia and some degree of stigma about mental illness within the Irish community
  8. Limited awareness of or access to assessment
  9. Third sector organisations lack confidence in supporting people with memory loss
  10. Limited funding to single ethnicity projects.
  11. JSNA in the main identify Irish under demographics but little or no analysis of health needs.

Member contacts


2. Actions

  • We will improve awareness and understanding

    We have implemented an ongoing memory loss strategy which aims to promote quality of life, independence, choice and dignity for Irish people experiencing memory loss.

    We will improve awareness and understanding by providing accessible information and resources about assessments and the importance of a diagnosis when memory loss features. Challenge negativity, identify and make available sources of advice and help for families, individuals, carers and community groups as well as identify strategies to help carers and families to live positively with memory loss.



    2014 - First Quarter Update

    New member

  • Deliver memory loss awareness training

    Deliver memory loss awareness training by developing customised training and culturally sensitive resources to ensure our members, are supported to develop their skills, knowledge, expertise and practice. Our training emphasises the importance of partnerships with local statutory and voluntary services particularly in relation to assessment and diagnosis and support for carers


    2014 - First Quarter Update

    New member

  • Develop and strengthen supportive networks for people with dementia and their carers

    Develop and Strengthen supportive networks by working with community churches, volunteers and wider mainstream services. We advise on funding, safeguarding, policies and procedure and general good practice guidelines. We support our member organisations to expand or establish befriending, sitting in schemes, and carer support groups.


    2014 - First Quarter Update

    New member