One of the main priorities for me since becoming a member of the Oireachtas has been to secure the provision of a permanent Alzheimers/Dementia service in South Kildare. The background to this is that the Alzheimers Society of Ireland (ASI) has been operating services in Kildare for over 20 years and has moved 5 times in that period, and is currently not operating due to a lack of premises. The disruption and distress that these moves caused to people Living with Dementia (PLWD), and their families is immense. There are over 1500 people Living with Dementia in Kildare and the surrounding areas and at present ASI have limited services in place to support our Clients and their Carers. These services are Homecare, Daycare at Home and some Virtual services.
The need and the benefits of the ASI Daycare can be life changing for the PLWD. The social activities along with the sense of purpose and belonging coupled with cognitive stimulation and fun can add such value to their lives. For the families, knowing their loved one is safe and enjoying a lovely day out provides such comfort and happiness.
I have been working with the ASI and the local Kildare Branch under the Chairmanship of Marie Conlan to try and source a new permanent location for ASI. Finally, a new location has now been identified and secured in the very heart of Kildare, in the village of Kildangan which is 6 minutes from Monasterevin, 10 minutes from Kildare, 14 minutes from Athy, 18 minutes from Newbridge and 30 minutes from Naas. ASI currently has a new bus where the funding was raised by the Community, which can be used daily to collect people from the surrounding areas. Current HSE funding supports 3 days and ASI would not open a 4th day unless the funding was made available.
The proposed New Centre will be purpose built, encompassing a large Daycare activity room, a sensory garden, a Quiet room, kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Upstairs ASI will have offices to be used for other support services –
Dementia Advisor, Homecare Coordinator 3Daycare@Home Manager.
Other services that will be available locally will be: Social Club, support Group, Alzheimer Café and Information Evenings
“Having worked with family members of those with dementia and ASI over the last few years to secure an appropriate day care centre in South Kildare, I am delighted to announce that we have been successful in procuring a central space. At present we have a shortfall of €180,000 but they have a fundraising plan in place, and I will be meeting with Minister Mary Butler next week to help address this. We hope to have this new centre open and operational within the next 6 months, which will make a huge difference to those living with dementia, and their families” concluded Fiona
Note: The World Health Organisation has described dementia as one of the most serious social challenges facing the world today. Dementia is a life changing condition both for the person and for their family.Age is the main risk factor for dementia and as a result, the population of those living with dementia will grow exponentially over the coming years as Ireland’s population ages.
Approximately 55,000 people in Ireland are currently living with dementia.
For everyone person with dementia three others are directly affected;