President opens new dementia centre for Limerick area

Roisin Burke

Reporter:

Roisin Burke

President Michael D Higgins has officially opened the new €4.23 million dementia care centre that serves East Limerick, East Clare and North Tipperary.

President Michael D Higgins has officially opened the new €4.23 million dementia care centre that serves East Limerick, East Clare and North Tipperary.

Waterman’s Lodge Day Care and Respite centre in Killaloe/Ballina gives dementia-specific, person centred care to people with dementia and provides up to 2,000 day care places and 4,000 respite days and nights per year.

The president was given a tour of the centre and met with service users, volunteers, carers, fundraisers and board members. “Today is a day of great pride and achievement for all those who have worked so hard to create this wonderful centre,” he said at the official opening,

A patron of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, President Higgins added: “The work that you do with dementia sufferers and their families is vitally important in maintaining a sense of hope, dignity and solidarity.”

The centre, which was funded through capital grants from the JP McManus Foundation, the HSE and local fundraising efforts, has been fully open for the past 14 months and recently expanded its respite care to a 24/7 service.

The chairman of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Kevin Norton, praised the work and effort that brought the centre to the community.

“The Alzheimer Society is very proud of Waterman’s Lodge. This day care and respite centre is a tribute to those who dreamed of opening this facility many years ago,” he said.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is a national voluntary organisation with 2,500 members, 300 volunteers and 700 full time and part time staff.

The society has six regional branches and a network of centres around the country. The facilities include over 100 dementia specific services such as day care centres, home care services, carer support groups, social clubs, a national respite centre and an advocacy service.

The society also operates the Alzheimer National Helpline Service offering information and support to anyone affected by Alzheimer’s disease / dementia at 1800341341