Dementia is a term used to describe a vast range of conditions which cause damage to our brain function. The damage is often manifest through memory loss, thought processes, impaired language and through same; our basic inability to perform the everyday tasks associated with normal day-to-day activities.
Living with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia can be a very challenging journey, not just for the sufferer with this condition, but also for their close family members, carers and other loved ones.
Hereunder Nurse Manager Ursula Paine (Currently Manager C.A.M.E.O. Care) highlights the necessity for a continued permanent Thurles operated Dementia Day Care unit and highlights the need for a strongly supported public meeting on this growing community issue.
Thurles C.A.M.E.O. Care
Initially, the necessity for a dementia day care unit in Thurles town became apparent when John and Billy Gleeson and I decided to form a Thurles Support group under the auspices of the North Tipperary Branch of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland (A.S.I.)
We held monthly meetings in the Golden Years Day Centre for anyone in the area who was caring for a family member with dementia, to come along every month for a chat and advice, (if required).
My interest is professional; I have held the post of Nurse Manager in the Community Hospital of the Assumption since 2000, latterly on Unit C, which had the most number of persons suffering dementia, as residents.
I have pursued this interest through 3rd level education at Trinity College, Dublin with an M.Sc in Gerontological Nursing and a Post Graduate Diploma in Dementia Care. John Gleeson is fully involved with Thurles Rotary Club and has an interest in fund-raising and charitable efforts and is a member of the A.S.I. Support Group, while Billy Gleeson is Chairperson of Thurles Community Social Services, which provides the Golden Years Day Centre, as a service in the town.
Having agreed the need for Dementia Day Care here in Thurles and its environs, we approached some other interested parties. These are Catherine Hayes, (Manager Golden Years Day Centre), Anne Delahunty (Asst. Director Public Health Nursing), Anne Bolton (Tipperary Centre for Independent Living), Michael Wright (Home Instead Senior Care). We then formed a steering group which oversaw the planning start-up of “C.A.M.E.O. Care,” (Come And Meet Each Other), which is the title chosen for the dementia day care unit.
Anne Bolton (T.C.I.L.) kindly offered us the use of their premises in Stradavoher Park, Thurles, as a suitable place to start-up the venture. It is a bright, cheerful and secure building with a wonderful courtyard style garden area, a bright day room, kitchen, assisted bathrooms and therapy room. There is also a training room and office space in the building. We also have access to transport if necessary.
Much of the care given to people with dementia in the home is provided by the spouse or by adult children. Many of the family Carers are frail and elderly themselves and may not enjoy good physical health. Older caregivers often become so involved in a caring role that their social connections become reduced to the point that they have very limited contact with the outside world. Many Carers feel guilty about asking for help and often allow their own health and well-being to suffer because of the demands placed upon them by a loved one.
This new service now aims to support Carers in their role, by providing a much needed break from caring. It gives the carer time for other activities. This in turn helps the person with dementia to remain in the home for longer. For the person with dementia it gives an opportunity to have some social interaction with others, and to become involved with a variety of activities, planned in accordance with their individual ability.
CAMEO Care are committed in providing a high quality service with expert experienced staff and all staff and volunteers will be trained to support people living with dementia and to understand the personal needs of the Carers.
CAMEO Care have applied for registration as a charity and now propose to operate a Charity Shop in the coming months; aimed at funding the cost of this day care service. Volunteers who may wish to assist in running this shop can contact John M. Gleeson, TEL: 086 2520766. We will also be looking for donations of household furniture, gift ware, art, books, games, toys etc.
Volunteers who would like to be involved in the day care service can do so at an open meeting which will be held in the Tipperary Centre for Independent Living, Stradavoher Park (behind Hanafin’s Furniture store), in Thurles, at 7.30pm on Monday next, May 12th 2014.
The sole aim of C.A.M.E.O. Care will be to improve the lives of those who use the facility and their families. Person centred care will focus on the needs of the people with this condition, while supporting their current abilities and compensating for their disability. Carers will also have access to an advisory service and be able to meet others experiencing similar situations.
The purpose of this upcoming open meeting is to inform interested parties (i.e. carers, family members, those interested in helping) of our mission and the services which will be offered, etc.
Please do note the Date, Time & Venue: Tipperary Centre for Independent Living, Stradavoher Park, Thurles, Co Tipperary – 7.30pm – Monday, May 12th, 2014.