Dementia Services Information and Development Centre

Taking Dementia out of the Closet: A World without Stigma

The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre in association with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland are delighted to announce, their hosting an afternoon seminar entitled “Taking Dementia out of the Closet: A World without Stigma” on May 20th between 3.30pm and 6pm, in the Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin.  

The aim of the seminar is to debunk prevailing fears, myths and misunderstandings about Alzheimer’s disease and the related dementias commonly held in society and to explore the critical impact that dementia along with its stigma often has on the individual diagnosed and on other family members. 

Our key-note speaker, the eminent Professor Perla Werner, Vice Rector of the University of Haifa in Israel.  Professor Werner is a world-class scholar who has since the 70’s been working tirelessly in the area of advancing knowledge and research in Social Gerontology for four decades.

Prof Perla has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous grants from prestigious institutes, including the NIA, the Science Foundation and Alzheimer’s Associations.  She has served as the Head of the Department of Gerontology, as Dean of Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences and as the Head of the Centre for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa. Several of her recent works have addressed the important topic of stigma, public and professional understandings of Alzheimer’s disease and the related dementias.  Her presentation at this seminar is titled “Stigma and Alzheimer’s disease: Why Study”?

Her presentation will be followed by five platform oral talks delivered by a range of key experts in the dementia field in Ireland.  These include Ronan Smith, a man in his fifties diagnosed with Younger-onset dementia, Tina Leonard, Head of Advocacy and Public Affairs at the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Sean Donal O'Shea, a full -time carer of his mother Debbie who has Younger- onset Alzheimer's, Fidelma Browne (HSE) and a journalist. 

The second part of this seminar will explore different perspectives on dementia; the potential of public awareness campaigns in relation to changing attitudes and the role of the media in either challenging or reinforcing the stigma of dementia.  This panel discussion will be chaired by Professor Suzanne Cahill.

The seminar will conclude by formulating recommendations on how stigma can be reduced in society today, and how people with dementia can be helped live well and enjoy a good quality of life.

The seminar is open to both the public and health service professionals but early registration is advisable since numbers are strictly limited. 

To register, please complete the booking form or contact Lorraine Lovely at or telephone 4162035. Registration will close on Friday May 15th.