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Sarah Travers hails new hospice dementia programme

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 19/05/2016

Praise: Sarah Travers
Praise: Sarah Travers

The new £13m dementia-friendly hospice providing vital, specially tailored support has been welcomed by broadcaster Sarah Travers.

The former BBC Newsline presenter, whose father battled Alzheimer's disease, was speaking as the first palliative care programme to support patients living with dementia and their families was launched.

The programme, called Hospice Enabled Dementia Partnerships, was inaugurated yesterday in the day service wing of the new NI Hospice on Somerton Road in north Belfast, which is due to open next Wednesday.

It is anticipated that, over the next 40 years, dementia will become more common in Northern Ireland, and that the number of people diagnosed with the condition here will rise from 19,000 today to approximately 60,000.

Sarah said she was honoured to be joining the programme which will provide advice and support to carers. Her father Ian, who died in 2013, needed round-the-clock care.

Sarah said: "I know from personal experience through my own dad's illness that caring for someone with Alzheimer's or dementia can be quite difficult in the later stages. The fact that Northern Ireland Hospice is offering tailored support and care to each individual and their carer is so important. There are no two cases ever the same, so it's absolutely vital that each person is cared for in this way."

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