Sufferers are projected to more than treble from 42,000 to 130,000 by 2030.
Mental Health Minister Kathleen Lynch yesterday said her department was “extremely grateful’’ for the grant from Atlantic Philanthropies which, she added, was forcing the Government to do at an early stage what it would have to do anyway.
“If numbers [of sufferers] come to pass, the amount of financial resources required will be enormous,’’ she said.
“That Atlantic Philanthropies have been generous in their investments in Ireland over recent years is not in doubt, but this latest announcement is one of the most important.
“The collaboration with Atlantic reinforces our commitment to effectively implement the forthcoming National Dementia Strategy so that we can improve the situation for those living with dementia and their families. It also enables us to carry out much needed research in the area of dementia.”
Ms Lynch said the grant ensures things would be better in the future, not just on the medical side but also in communities, in terms of the care and well-being of sufferers.
Substantive agreement has been reached with Atlantic Philanthropies on a number of collaborations, including the implementation of elements of the draft National Dementia Strategy and a research programme.
The Department of Health is providing €1m in matching funding to support the research element of the collaboration, while the HSE is providing matching funding of €15m for intensive home care supports, GP education, and awareness of dementia research.
Mary Sutton, director of Atlantic Philanthropies here, described dementia as one of the greatest health and social care challenges of the 21st century.
“We are good at devising strategy in Ireland, but the key is implementation and follow through,’’ she said.
“In the global fightback against the epidemic that is dementia the aspiration is that Ireland could be at the forefront of this.”
Meanwhile, Mr Feeney, 83, was recently honoured by Guinness, Warren Buffet, and Forbes. His foundation will have donated over €7.5bn to education and worthy causes by the time it completes its funding.