Dementia Services Information and Development Centre


As part of our information service you can view our DVDs below :

Understanding Dementia DVDUnderstanding Dementia

Understanding Dementia provides a broad overview of how brain function can be significantly disrupted by dementia and how changed brain functioning can produce many of the symptoms and behaviours that typically occur in dementia.

A detailed account of the main divisions of the brain and an overview of the functions of the temporal, parietal and frontal lobes of the brain is provided.

Through the careful use of three-dimensional graphics, it traces the way in which Alzheimer's Disease first presents in the individual and spreads through different parts of the brain.

Distinctions are made between short term and long- term memory and between episodic and semantic memory.


Understanding Challenging Behaviours

explores in much greater depth different behaviours such as wandering, repetitive questioning and agitation/aggression - the type of behaviours we know can cause caregivers strain and which not infrequently result in people with a dementia being admitted to long term care.

A conceptual model is provided which may be useful to help practitioners and family caregivers better understand the root cause of these behaviours. Through the clever use of vignettes, different strategies to help address some of these challenging behaviours are demonstrated.

The point is made that whilst the interventions covered in the programme may not work in every case, knowing the person and his or her life story is critical to best practice in dementia care and that drugs should only ever be considered when all other interventions and options are exhausted.



Research Publications

Publications (peer-reviewed)

1.    Cahill, S., Pearce, M., Werner, P., Darley, A., and Bobersky, A., (2015).  A systematic Review of the Public's Knowledge and Understasnding of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.  Alzheimer's Disease & Associated Disorders 29 (3), 255 - 275

2.    Cahill, S, Pierce, M.,  & Moore V. (2014).  A National Survey of Memory Clinics in Ireland. International Psychogeriatrics, doi:10.1017/S104161021300238X, 1-9.

3.    Pierce, M., Cahill, S., & O’Shea, E. (2013).  Planning Dementia Services: New Estimates of Current and Future Prevalence Rates of Dementia for Ireland.  Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 30(1), 13-20.

4.    Donnelly, S., Carter Anand, J., Cahill, S., O'Neill, D, Gilligan, R., (2013). Healthcare Professional's Views on Older Patients' Participation in Care Planning Meetings in a Hospital. Practice: Social Work in Action

5.    Cahill, S, Doran D and Watson, M (2012).  Guidelines for Nursing Homes Delivering End of Life Care to Residents with Dementia across the island of Ireland.  Quality in Ageing and Older Adults.

6.    Moore, V and Cahill, S (2012). Diagnosis and disclosure of dementia – A comparative qualitative study of Irish and Swedish General Practitioners.  Ageing and Mental Health, 1-8.

7.    Connolly S, Gillespie, P O’Shea E, Cahill S and Pierce, M (2013).  Estimating the economic and social costs of dementia in Ireland. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 11(3), 1- xx)

8.    Cahill S & Diaz-Ponce A (2011).  I hate having nobody here, I’d like to know where they all are”: Can qualitative research detect differences in quality of life among nursing home residents with different levels of cognitive impairment?  Ageing and Mental Health, 15(5), 562-572

9.    Cahill S, Diaz-Ponce A, Coen RF, & Walsh C.  (2010).   The under-detection of cognitive impairment in Nursing Homes in the Dublin Area: The need for on-going cognitive assessment.  Age & Ageing, 38(1), 128-130.

10.    Cahill S, (2010).  Developing a National Dementia Strategy for Ireland. Int Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25, 912-916.

11.  Cahill, S., Clark, M., O’Connell, H, Lawlor, B., Coen R., & Walsh, C. (2008).  The attitudes and practices of general practitioners regarding dementia diagnosis in Ireland. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (23), 663-669

12.  Cahill, S., Headon, M., Gibb, M., Drury, M & Bruce, I. (2008).  “I was worried coming in because I don’t really know why it was arranged”:  The Subjective Experience of New Patients and their Primary Caregivers attending a memory clinic”. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. 7(2), 175-189.

13.  Cahill, S., Macijauskiene, J., Nygard, A., Faulkner, J., Hagen, I. (2007).  Technology in Dementia. Technology & Disability, 19(2) 55-60

14.  Cahill, S., Begley, E., Faulkner, J., Hagen, I. (2007).”It Gives me a Sense of Independence”: Findings from Ireland on the Use and Usefulness of Assistive Technologies for people with dementia.  Technology & Disability, 19(2) 133-142.

15.  Topo P, Saarikalle K, Begley E,  Cahill S, Holthe T,  and Macijauskiene J (2007).  I don’t know about the past or the future, but today its Friday:  Evaluation of a time aid for people with dementia. Technology & Disability, 19(2) 121-131.

16.  Cahill, S. (2006) Educational workshops and decision support software increase detection of dementia in the elderly in primary care settings.  Evidence Based Mental Health. Nov 9(4): 102.

17.  Cahill, S., Clark, M., Walsh, C.,  O’Connell, H., & Lawlor, B. (2006).  Dementia in Primary Care: The First Survey of Irish General Practitioners, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(4) 319-24

18.  Timonen, V., Convery, J., & Cahill, S. (2006).  Care Revolutions in the Making?  A Comparison of Cash for care programmes in Four European Countries. Ageing and Society, 26, (3), 455 - 474

19.  Cahill, S.,  Begley,  E., Topo,  P.,  Saarikalle,  K., Macijauskiene,  J., Skauronaite,  A., Hagen,  I. & Holthe T, (2004).  “I Know Where this is Going and I Know it Won’t Go Back”: Hearing the Individual’s Voice in Dementia Quality of Life Assessments. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 3(3), 313-330.

20.  Topo, T, Maki, O, Saarikalle, K, Clarke, N, Begley, E, Cahill, S., Arenlind, J., Holthe, T, Morby, M, Hayes, K, Gilliard, J, (2004). Assessment of a music-based multimedia program for people with dementia.  Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 3(3), 331-350.

21.  Hagen, I., Gilliard, G., Topo, P., Cahill, S., Begley, E., Jones, K., Duff, P., Macijanskiene, J., Skauronaite, A., Bjoerneby, S. & Engedal, K.(2004). Development of a Protocol for the Assessment of Assistive Aids for People with Dementia.  Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 3(3).  281-296.

22.  Bjorneby, S., Topo, P., Cahill, S., Begley, E., Jones, K., Hagen, I., Macijauskiene, J. Holthe, T. (2004).  Ethical considerations in the ENABLE project.  Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 3(3), 297-312. 

23.  Cahill, S., Drury, M., Lawlor, B., O’Connor, D.&  O’Connell, M. (2003). “They have started to call it their club”:  A survey of staff views of dementia-specific day care centres in Ireland. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 2(1), 85-103.

24.  Cahill, S (2000).  Elderly Husbands Caring for wives diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease: Are Male Caregivers Really Different?  Australian Journal of Social Issues, 35(1), 53-72.

25.  Cahill, S. (1999).  Caring in families: What motivates wives, daughters and daughter-in-laws to provide dementia care? The Australian Journal of Family Studies, 5(2), 235-247

26.  Cahill, S & Shapiro, M. (1998).  “The only one you neglect is yourself”. The Australian Journal of Family Studies, 4(1), 87-101.

27.  Cahill, S. (1997).  “I often think I wish he was here”.  Dementia and the need for long term care.  Australian Social Work, 50(3), 13-19

28.  Cahill, S., & Shapiro, M. (1997). “I think he might have hit me once”: Aggression towards caregivers in dementia care. Australian Journal on Ageing, 12(4), 10-15.

29.  Conroy, R., Cahill, S., Reid, V., & Mulcahy, R. (1986).  The relation of social   class to risk factors, rehabilitation, compliance and mortality in survivors of acute coronary heart disease.  Scandinavian Journal for Social Medicine (14) 51-56.

30.  Rosenman, L. & Cahill, S., (1989). Economic and Social Costs of Alzheimers Disease, Balance, Journal For The Queensland Association Mental Health, 1 (2) 18 - 23

Published Book Chapters

1.  Cahill. S., (2016) Timely diagnosis of dementia in Ireland: Recent policy developments, in C. Chew-Graham and M. Ray (Eds) Mental Health and Older People: A guide for Primary Care Practitioners, (211-217) Springer International Switzerland

2.   O’Shea E, Cahill S, & Pierce, M. (2015). Reframing Dementia Policy.  In K Walsh, G Carney and A Ni Leime (Eds). Ageing and Austerity (pp. 99-104). Policy Press

3.   Cahill, S.  Dementia and Integrated Care: A Dream or the Reality? (2013). In T.O’Connor, (Ed), Integrated Care for Ireland: Challenges for Policy, Institutions and Specific Service user Needs (pp 236-255). Oak Tree Press, Milton Keynes, UK. 

4.   Ponce-Diaz, A. & Cahill, S., (2012). Dementia and Quality of Life Issues in Older People. In, P. Constantinos (Ed), Aging in European Societies, 98-117. Springer, New York.

5.   Cahill, S. (2010).  Time and Dementia.  In Jane Gilliard, Mary Marshall and James Mc Killop, (EDs), Time and Dementia:  A Collection of Writing  on the Meanings of Time and Dementia, Hawker, London. 

6.   Cahill, S., Begley, E. & Hagen, I.  (2008).  Health technologies for people with early dementia: The ENABLE Project.  In E. Moniz-Cook & J. Manthorpe, (Eds), Early Psychosocial interventions in Dementia: Evidence-Based Practice. Jessica Kingsley, London

7.   Farrell, A., Cahill, S., Burke S. (2007). Rural practice, dementia and Community Mental Health Nurse activity.  In J. Keady, C. Clarke & S. Page (Eds), Partnerships in Community Mental Health Nursing and Dementia Care, 142-151, Open University Press, Berkshire

8.   Cahill, S & Dooley A.  (2005). The Historical Context of Rehabilitation and its Application to Dementia Care’. In M. Marshall (Ed), Perspectives on Rehabilitation and Dementia, (pp.  30-38).  Jessica Kingsley, London.

9.   Cahill, S. (2003).  Food and dementia:  What are some of the Myths? In M. Marshall (Ed), Food, Glorious Food: Perspectives on Food and Dementia, (pp. 31-33). Hawker Publication. London.

10.  Cahill, S., & Rosenman, L. (1991).  Caregiver considerations in institutionalising dementia patients.  In D. O’Neill (Ed.), Carers Professionals and Alzheimer’s Disease. (pp.37-42), Libbey & Co. London.

Published Major Reports for State, Industry Business or Professional Bodies

1.    Pierce, M., Cahill, S., Grey, T., & Dyer, M,  (2015). Research for Dementia & Home Design in Ireland: Looking at New Build and Retro-fit Homes from a Universal Design Approach, the Key Findings.  National Disability Authority, Dublin Ireland.

2.    Grey, T, Pierce M, Cahill S & Dyer, M. (2015). Universal Design Guidelines: Dementia Friendly Dwellings for People with Dementia, their Families and Carers. NDA, Centre for Universal Design.

3.    Cahill, S., O’Nolan, C, O’Caheny, D., & Bobersky, A. (2015).  An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long Term Residential Care, The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, St James’s Hospital, Dublin Ireland.

4.    Cahill, S., Pierce, M., & Bobersky, A. (2014).  Report on the 5 Steps to Living with Dementia in South Tipperary: Dementia Support Worker Initiative.   Report prepared for Genio Ltd. Mullingar.

5.    Cahill, S., Pierce, M., & Bobersky, A. (2014). Report on Flexible Respite Options offered to People with Dementia and Family Caregivers by the Living Well with Dementia Initiative in Stillorgan and Blackrock. Report prepared for Genio Ltd, Mullingar.

6.    Pierce, M., Cahill, S., & O’Shea, E. (2014). Prevalence and Projections of Dementia in Ireland, 201. Report prepared for Genio Ltd, Mullingar.

7.    Cahill, S., O’Shea, E. & Pierce, M. (2012). Creating Excellence in Dementia Care: A Research Review for Ireland’s National Dementia Strategy

8.    Cahill, S., O’Shea, E., & Pierce, M. (2012). Future Dementia Care in Ireland: Sharing the Evidence to Mobilise Action, June 2012

9.    Cahill, S., & Linehan, J. (2007). Report of the Working Group on Residential Services for the Person with Dementia. Services for Older People, Advancing the National Agenda.Health Service Executive.

10.   Pierce, M. and Cahill, S. (2012) ‘Dementia Services in Ireland: National Report’ for the London School of Economics (LSE) research project Informal Care in Europe: A Review of the Evidence on Policies and Best Practices commissioned by the Network on Health and Living Conditions, Observatory on the Social Situation,   European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs.

11.   Cahill, S., O’Shea, E. and Pierce, M. (2011) ‘Dementia Services in Ireland: National Report’ for London School of Economics (LSE) research project The State of Dementia Services in Europe: Fit for Purpose for the 21st Century, Project commissioned by the Network on Health and Living Conditions, Observatory on the Social    European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs

12.   Cahill S, Begley, E, (2004).  The Enable Project: National Findings from Ireland.


Partially refereed Papers

1.   Cahill S. (2010). Alzheimer’s Disease in Ireland.  Modern Medicine, (40) ,  40-41.

2.   Cahill, S. (2008).  Behaviours that Challenge.   Clinical Focus, 8(2), 4-6.

3.   Cahill, S. (2008) Behaviours that Challenge: Some Suggestions for Family Caregivers. Forum Journal of the Irish College of General Practitioners

4.   Cahill, S.  (2008).  Dementia in the Community.  The Irish Medical Times.

5.   Cahill, S. (2007).  Can technology improve quality of life in people with dementia? Irish Ageing Studies Review Seminar Proceedings, 1 (1).

6.   Cahill, S. (2004). Developing dementia specific day centers and support for family caregivers. Proceedings from Conference entitled “The Role and Future Development of Day Services for Older People". Report No. 79. National Council on Ageing and Older Persons

7.   Cahill, S. (2003). Older People in Long Term Residential Care:  Proceedings from Conference entitled “Healthy Ageing". Report No. 80. National Council on Ageing and Older Persons

8.   Begley, E,. & Cahill, S. (2003). “Carers why women?” Studies, 92 (366), 162-171.

9.   Cahill, S., & Headon, M. (2002).  “Dementia and Personhood: Can social work help to re-discover the person?”  Irish Social Worker, 20, 13-16.

Unrefereed Papers

1.    Cahill, S. (2007). Thinking about dementia and rehabilitation: A historical perspective. Les Cahiers de la Fondation Mederic Alzheimer, 3, 20-25.

2.    Cahill, S., & Clark, M. (2004).  Detecting and Diagnosing Dementia, Irish Medical Times, Dec 17, 24 (31).


Minor Publications (letters to journals/blogs )

1.   Cahill, S. (2015).  Global Action on Dementia, British Medical Journal, March, 2015

2.    Cahill, S. (2003). “Technologies may be enabling”. British Medical Journal, 326:281

3.    Cahill, S. (2006).   Occupational therapy skills:  Can they be imparted to other health services professionals and social care workers? British Medical Journal, 326:281


1.    Cahill, S. (2003). ( Review of the book a Handbook of Dementia Care by Caroline Cantley). Journal of Interprofessional Care, 17; 1, 119-120.

2.    Cahill, S. (2014). (Review of the book Achieving Impact in Research , by Pam Denicola ). The International Journal of Social Research and Practice , 13, (6), 855-856.

Click Here to Download full list of DSIDC Publications

Guides / Books

Future Dementia Care

Future Dementia Care in Ireland

Sharing the Evidence to Mobilise Action

Click here to download (PDF 10.6 MB)



Dementia: A positive guide

Dementia: A positive guide provides you with material gathered over time from practitioners, and carers, which draws on a wide range of ideas you can utilize as you ‘up skill’ and ‘empower’ family members and carers in their care giving role.




Creating Excellence in Dementia Care 

A research Review for Ireland's National Dementia Strategy

Click here to download (PDF 3.7 MB)



Guides for family Caregivers and Health Care Professionals


Life for Caregivers after Placing a Relative in a Nursing Home

Click here to download (PDF 1.1 MB)



Memory Clinics in Ireland

Click here to download (PDF 850k)






Living in a Nursing HomeLiving in a Nursing Home - Quality of Life

The Priorities of Older People with a Cognitive Impairment

Click here to download (PDF 360k)



Finding a Suitable Nursing Home for a Relative with Dementia

A Guide for Family Caregivers to Placing a Relative with Dementia in a Nursing Home

Click here to download (PDF 650k)




Coping with the Early Stages of Dementia

A Guide for People Worried about Memory and Cognitive Problems

or those recently Diagnosed with Dementia

Click here to download (PDF 316.3k)





Specialist Care Units for People with Dementia In Ireland:

A Guide for Family Caregivers and Health Service Professionals


Click here to download (PDF 721.4k)





An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long Term Residential Care

Click here to download






Universal Design Guidelines

Dementia Friendly Dwellings for People with Dementia, their families and Carers

Click here to download






Teach your Students about Dementia with our new Resource for Schools

We are delighted to announce that we have recently published a dementia resource manual for teachers and a workbook for students

called The Brain - from the Fantastic to the Forgetful.  In addition we can offer the opportunity for online learning as the programme is now available in pdf format. 

  If you would like further information on this resource please contact Dearbhla O'Caheny on or 01 4162105

Download a copy of the interactive pdf

Firefox users (Mac and PC) please download to your desktop or open using an alternative browser.






The Brain, Brain Health and Dementia: A Short Guide

This dementia awareness booklet provides an opportunity for young people to learn about the brain, memory, brain health and dementia.

Click here to download







Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

A Practical Home Guide to Daily Living for Family Members

Click here to download





Pills, Bills and Wills

Helpful information following a diagnosis of Dementia.  This booklet covers medications for memory loss and lifestyle advice. 

The booklet also explains Enduring Power of Attorney and gives some tips around managing personal finances.

Click here to download




Supporting the Person with Dementia in Hospital

Practical information and advice to all staff working in clinical settings caring for people who have a cognitive impairment, dementia or delirium.

Click here to download






The Next Steps - Dementia Post-diagnostic Support Guidance

Essential information for health and social care professionals providing post-diagnostic support for people with dementia and their families

Click here to download


Universal Design Guidelines For People with Dementia, their Families and Carers
Centre for Excellence in Universal Design

Click Here to download Report



Research for Dementia and Home Design in Ireland

A research report titled: "Dementia and Home Design; Looking at New Build and Retro-Fit Homes from a Universal Design Approach" commissioned by the Centre for Excellence at the National Disability Authority (NDA) and undertaken by the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre and Trinity Haus, Trinity College.  

Click Here to download Report






An Irish National Survey of Dementia in Long Term Residential Care

Click Here to download Report






Prevalence and Projections of Dementia in Ireland 2011 - 2046

Click Here to download Report

Flexible Respite Options of the Living Well with Dementia Project in Stillorgan and Blackrock

Click Here to download Report

5 Steps to Living Well with Dementia in South Tipperary Project

 Click Here to download Report


DSIDC Annual Reports

2017 Annual Report (PDF 4.72 MB)

2016 Annual Report (PDF 646.5k)

2015 Annual Report(PDF1.6MB)

2014 Annual Report (PDF 557k)

2013 Annual Report (PDF 226k)

2012 Annual Report(PDF2.5MB)

2011 Annual Report (PDF 577k)

2010 Annual Report (PDF 780k)

2009 Annual Report (PDF 2.2 MB)

2008 Annual Report (PDF 340k)

2007 Annual Report (PDF 2MB)


Strategy Reports


Creating Excellence in Dementia Care









Strategy Report 2009 - 2011 (PDF 750k)

National Strategy on Dementia - Summary of Consultation Process (PDF 280k)

Clinicians Roundtable on the National Dementia Strategy Report (PDF 681k)




DSIDC Newsletters