People with Down syndrome are susceptible to accelerated ageing and are at a higher risk of developing dementia. A new National Intellectual Disability Memory Service (NIDMS) has been established at Tallaght University Hospital in partnership with the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service and Trinity College Dublin. The aim of this service is to provide access to specialist memory assessment, comprehensive diagnostic work-up and post-diagnostic support for persons presenting with memory concerns. This new National Memory Service is available to all persons with Down syndrome and persons with ID from other aetiologies throughout Ireland.
Contact your doctor to request a referral to the NIDMS at Tallaght University Hospital. You will then be contacted by the Clinical Nurse Specialist/Advanced Nurse Practitioner to discuss the concerns and undertake an initial memory assessment over the phone.
The initial results from this screening will be discussed with Professor Sean Kennelly, Consultant Geriatrician and the Clinical Director of the National Intellectual Disability Memory Service (NIDMS) and relevant members of the specialist dementia team. Following this, if deemed necessary, you will be given an appointment to attend the NIDMS at Tallaght University Hospital.
What will my visit to the National Intellectual Disability Memory Service involve?
The person and their carer will meet the specialist intellectual disability nurses in the Clinic. The nurses will ask about general mental and physical health, memory concerns, recent life events and they may ask the person to do some simple memory tests. They will complete a physical health assessment.
The length of time and the type of tests used is likely to vary depending upon what is required to undertake a comprehensive assessment. The individual's level of intellectual disability and their ability to complete the tests will also influence the length of time the assessment will take. It may take a number of visits to the NIDMS to complete the assessment. The first visit to the Memory Service may take approx. 2 to 3 hours to complete. Additional testing such as CT or MRI scan may also be recommended.
What happens if a Diagnosis of Dementia is made?
Timely diagnosis is so important to enable dementia care to focus on supporting people to live well with the diagnosis and to engage in valued life-enhancing activities. Early diagnosis allows more time to plan for appropriate care and treatment. Person-centred care and futures planning enable the person with Intellectual Disability living with dementia to continue to enjoy life with their family and friends in their community.
The NIDMS provides an adaptable model of care and support that can be linked into existing dementia assessment and diagnostic services for people with ID nationwide. It will provide regional satellite centres of supports, linked to the main NIDMS clinic, that will work in partnership with existing regional services. The NIDMS aims to support best quality outcomes for each person with ID diagnosed with dementia in Ireland and their carers.
How do I contact the NIDMS?
The NIDMS is located in the Russell Building, Floor 7, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin.
You can phone the clinic administrator on: 01 414 25 77
For general information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can access information about the service at:
National Intellectual Disability Memory Service Information Flyer