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Anne Murphy of Tulla chatting with Tony and Liz Finucane at the launch of the Slainte An Chlair Clare Cancer Support booklet: " A Cancer Journey Guide For The People Of Clare" at Waterpark, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

cancer charity provides online services to patients

CLARE Sláinte An Chláir has confirmed it is still providing a lot of services for local cancer patients, despite restrictions imposed during Covid-19 restrictions.

One of the centre’s counsellors, Bridget Haren is provides meditation and mindfulness on Tuesdays and Thursdays on line using Zoom to 18 recipients.

Using a Whatsapp group, another counsellor provides a similar service to people who may not have access to internet or proper broadband.

In addition, cancer patients can also receive one-on-one counselling by telephone.

Oncology nurse, Anne Murphy from Tulla contacts people via telephone who require information or advice, which is proving to be very beneficial.

The centre’s physiotherapist provides online exercise classes to 12 people on Wednesdays, after the first class was provided last week.

Marie Kelly, who runs the outreach service in Raheen, oversees a Whatsapp counselling and meditation group.

The charity was forced to close its popular drop-in service at its main centre in Kilnamona on March 5 following the introduction of strict social distancing guidelines.

A spokeswoman for Clare Slainte an Chlair said people were finding it very useful to get services from their own home.

“We are providing services on line in a group and on an individual basis. In Clare like a lot of counties, there are a lot of people who don’t have access to the internet.

“We have posted out mindfulness books with colouring pencils to some people living on their own. We are doing the best we can in difficult circumstances.

“We can no longer provide the transport services for patients because we don’t have the training and the easy transmission of disease would put some of our drivers who have underlying conditions and their own families at risk.

“We are very disappointed we had to suspend this service in the interest of safety for patients and our drivers. We don’t have the training and expertise on infection control to continue this service,” she said.

The centre, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary on May 10 next, is still providing a lot of services, despite the fact that numerous fundraising events including their Christmas Fair, which was cancelled due to bad weather, have been put on hold.

While the centre will continue to assist cancer patients for the forseeable future, she admitted the lack of fundraising ventures may impact on raising money for their proposed new building.

 

Dan Danaher

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