A Day Care Centre in North Kerry has proving a lifeline for older people in the North Kerry area.
Local Margaret Gilbert highlighted just how much Ard Chúram Day Care Centre means to her and many others just like her.
“Coming here is just a miracle. It is. I just love it. I love the camaraderie we have here and the fun we have - we play games, we have crosswords on the big boards sometimes, and do exercise. We also have a great sing song too,” she said.
“This Centre means everything to me, honestly. I’d die without it.”
Ard Chúram is located in Greenville Listowel and offers a client-centred programme of activities in a safe, supportive, cheerful environment. It offers the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate, socialise and meet new friends. Many of the clients live alone and their visits to the centre are often the only chance they get to socialise outside of their homes.
It also offers caregivers a break from their duties while knowing their loved ones are being looked after.
“Our Centre supports 85 older people, their carers and their families and this service operates four days a week, Tuesday to Friday. Our objective is that through the service at our Centre, older people will stay healthy and remain at home for as long as possible,” explained Finbarr Mawe, one of the Directors in Ard Chúram.
In 2006 a public meeting was held for the purpose of setting up a voluntary community group that would follow through on the vision of a Day Care Centre for North Kerry, as it was the only area in the county that did not benefit from such services, even though one in four older people in the area live on their own.
The purpose-built facility was built thanks to the support of the local community, HSE, NEWKD(Leader), National Lottery and the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.
A full range of creative, physical and recreational activities are provided in the centre. Some of the many activities at the centre include arts and crafts, musical entertainment, bingo, gentle exercises, discussion groups, information talks such as safety in the home and nutrition, holiday and birthday celebrations and occasional outings.
Ard Chúram’s new project for 2019 is to build a new purpose built Dementia Unit that will support people living with dementia and their families. Recently it provided a six-week post-stroke programme with physiotherapy and nursing supports. Additional services such as chiropody, hairdressing and massage therapies are provided for on a rotational basis.