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Subject: Module 6 - Advanced Public Relations Writing For exam taking place on Tuesday 28th April (14.00hrs – 17.00hrs) In the exam students must answer Question 1 (compulsory) and two further questions. All questions carry equal marks. Content: The situation as outlined in this scenario is fictional. The Scenario You are the PR director working for the The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. You have been tasked in 2009 to raise awareness of the issue of dementia and the importance of getting an early diagnosis. The objective is to encourage more people who are worried about their memory to visit their doctor and get a diagnosis. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland wants to be positioned as leading the fight against dementia and as the main force behind the campaign. The campaign will be co-ordinated from all the regional offices to ensure maximum impact. The offices are: The Alzheimer Society of Ireland Alzheimer House 43 Northumberland Avenue Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin Tel: (01) 284 66 16 Fax: (01) 284 60 30 National Helpline: 1 800 341 341 Helpline: [email protected] Fundraising Department: [email protected] General Enquiries: [email protected] Media Enquiries: [email protected] Chief Executive Officer: Maurice O'Connell Eastern Regional Office Counties: Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare Regional Manager: Frankie Barrett Unit 21, KCR Industrial Estate Kimmage, Dublin 12 Tel: 01 4926050 / 52 South East / Midlands Regional Office Counties: Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Wexford, Laois and Offaly Regional Manager: Kate Brennan No 4 John's Place Birr, Co Offaly Tel: 057 9125909 Southern Regional Office Counties: Cork, Kerry and Waterford Regional Manager: Ursula Collins Bessboro Day Care Centre Blackrock, Cork Tel: 021 4972504 West and North West Regional Office Counties: Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and Galway Regional Manager: Des Mulligan 27 Knockthomas Drive Castlebar, Co Mayo Tel: 094 9027761 North East/Midlands Regional Office Counties: Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Longford and Westmeath Regional Manager: Trevor McCay Morrissey 8 Railway Road Cavan Town, Cavan Tel: 049 437 1975 Mid West Regional Office Counties: Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary Regional Manager: Jane Howlett 1 Grattan Street, Limerick Tel: 061 312605 The Campaign will target anyone worried about their memory or that of a friend or relative, people at risk of dementia, female family decision makers, GPs, other health practitioners, public policy makers and any other key people of influence. Some Facts about The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is the leading dementia specific service provider in Ireland. The Society was founded in 1982 by a small group of people who were caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia. Today, it is a national voluntary organisation with an extensive national network of branches, regional offices and services that aims to provide people with all forms of dementia, their families and carers with the necessary support to maximise their quality of life. The Society is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. The Society’s network currently includes 22 branches, 6 regional offices, 33 Day Care Centres, 28 Home Care/Support Services, 28 Carer Support Groups, 3 Social Clubs and one overnight Respite Centre. The Society also operates the Alzheimer National Helpline Service offering information and support to anyone affected by Alzheimer’s disease / dementia. It is the major dementia-specific service provider in Ireland. The Society comprises 3,000 members, 300 volunteers and over 700 full and part-time staff. A number of core functions are operated through our national office including information, policy and research, fundraising, public relations, training and finance. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe various conditions which damage brain cells and lead to a loss of brain function over time. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will get worse over time. How quickly dementia progresses depends entirely on the individual, each person will have their own, unique experience with dementia. Dementia is characterised by a gradual deterioration in memory and in the person's ability to carry out everyday activities, make decisions, understand information and express themselves. Dementia may also affect a person’s mood and personality. There are many different types of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia are the most common forms. Less common forms include Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia (including Pick's Disease) and Korakoff's Disease (alcohol related dementia). There are over 40,000 people in Ireland living with a form of dementia today. At present, it is not known what causes the different types of dementia, medical research is ongoing throughout the world to discover the cause and develop new treatments. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50-60% of all cases. It is a progressive neurological condition characterised by the build up of proteins in the brain called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’. These proteins gradually damage and eventually destroy the nerve cells. This can make it more and more difficult to remember, reason and use language. The loss of memory of recent events may be one of the first difficulties noticed. The person may also become disorientated, be at a loss for a word when speaking and have increasing difficulty with simple daily tasks such as using the phone, making meals or managing money. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease increases with age with its prevalence rising from approximately 1% in people under 65 years old to more than 25% for those over 80 years. Although rare and more commonly associated with older age, Alzheimer’s disease can also occur in people under 65. There is currently no known cause for Alzheimer’s disease and there is no cure for the condition. Drugs have been developed that, in some cases, temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms in the early and middle stages. These drugs are Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) Exelon (rivastigmine) and Reminyl (galantime). There is also a drug for the middle to late stages of the condition called Exiba (memantine). For some people these drugs may stabilise some of the symptoms for a limited period of time. There are currently more than 40,000 people in Ireland with dementia, with the number expected to be in excess of 104,000 by 2037 unless there is a medical breakthrough. In 2009 there will be an estimated 4,000 new cases of dementia in Ireland. Dementia can affect younger people; currently approximately 3,800 people in Ireland under the age of 65 have Younger Onset Dementia. Between 2002 and 2036, the number of people with dementia in Ireland is expected to increase by 303%, while the total population increases by less than 40%. Dementia affects the lives of nearly 50,000 people in Ireland who are involved in caring for someone with one of the six symptoms of dementia. In 2006 the baseline cost of dementia in Ireland was estimated at €400m Family carers provide 57% of the value of informal care without compensation. Less than 10% of the cost of dementia in Ireland is attributable to community care services Demographic trends, health and social care cost and disease burden mean that dementia must be designated a National Health Priority in Ireland The Dementia Manifesto 2007-2009 calls for targeted investment of €35m per year over 3 years in the following areas: 1. Enhanced and flexible community based services (€21m pa x 3) 2. Early diagnosis, intervention awareness and education (€4m pa x 3) 3. Medical and social research (€10m pa x 3) The Alzheimer Society of Ireland have decided to launch several initiatives in May, 2009. The initiatives include: • TV advertising • Press advertising • Use of a ‘Twitter’ and Facebook sites • Profiles of those with dementia and their families for media • Celebrity supporters are being interviewed by the media about their personal stories of family members touched by dementia • Leaflets/Publications for GP surgeries. These are: ‘Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias’ is a booklet which provides a brief explanation of dementia and an outline of the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and the stages of the condition. The booklet contains a memory checklist and a diary section which may help people to prepare for a visit to their doctor about their concerns. This publication is supported by Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. ‘The Society’s Carer’s Information Pack’ is a collection of information sheets which provide practical tips for everyday living and sections about particular areas such as legal and financial affairs. Copies of the pack are also available by calling the National Helpline at 1800 341 341.



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