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Leading-edge approach will improve quality of life for people with dementia in Northern Ireland

Resource type: News

Fold Housing Association | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

A brand new service for people living with dementia, believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, has been launched in Belfast.

The Brain Bus, which has been developed by Atlantic grantee Fold Housing Association, is a revolutionary mobile therapy unit for people diagnosed with dementia. It uses leading-edge technology that helps to deliver engagement for people with dementia through cognitive and physical exercises, which are proven to reduce depression, agitation and stress levels. Each technical interface is personalised for the user and provides an additional tool for social interaction with families and carers, ultimately resulting in improved quality of life for the person with dementia.

As a mobile unit, the Fold Brain Bus will be able to make its services available across Northern Ireland, whether in care homes or private housing.

The Brain Bus was launched in Belfast by Northern Ireland Health Minister Michael McGimpsey and high profile TV broadcaster Fiona Philips, who has been vocal about her experiences in caring for her father following his dementia diagnosis.

Speaking at the launch, Fold Housing Association’s Director of Care Services, Eileen Askham said: “There has been so much negativity surrounding the significant challenges to our society posed by dementia. But today we are launching a new support alternative that can make a real difference to helping people with dementia maintain independence.

“Longer term we feel the mobility of the Brain Bus will also help tackle the care and diagnostic challenges posed by the rising numbers with dementia by improving access to leading-edge therapy technologies for people throughout Northern Ireland.

Also attending the launch, Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said: “Today represents a very positive step forward in the continued development of dementia services in Northern Ireland.

“It is very pleasing and encouraging to see innovative developments such as the ‘Brain Bus’. The technology on board will hopefully help reduce depression, agitation and stress levels for people with dementia, ultimately contributing to an improved quality of life and it will help restore a sense of control and dignity to their lives.

“I wish to commend Fold Housing Association on their dedication and hard work in developing this service, which is the first of its kind in Europe. Not only has this hard work resulted in a new service for people with dementia, but it also acts as a platform for raising awareness of the condition.”


For more information:

Related Resources


Aging, Dementia

Global Impact:

Northern Ireland


Brain Bus, Fold Housing Association