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Dementia unit ‘not a priority’

The Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, Minister Áine Brady, has confirmed to Fine Gael’s deputy spokesperson on foreign affairs, Pat Breen that the development of a dementia unit at the Clarecastle Day Care Centre is not “considered an immediate priority”.

She added that given the “scarce resources” it has been decided not to “concentrate additional scare resources in this geographical area”.
Responding to the news, Deputy Breen said it is “a very big body blow to the hardworking management and staff of the Clarecastle Day Care Centre and to the community, who have worked so tirelessly to put in place a facility in Clarecastle, which would accommodate day dementia patients”.
“Money should be found so that Clarecastle can build on the success of the daycare unit. Today’s news is a big disappointment given the fact that the in-bed unit at St Joseph’s Hospital is closed because of staff shortages. It is important to have a day unit for dementia patients, a lot of people could avail of this service and it is a shame to have another building left vacant,” Deputy Breen said.
“The financial pressures on the HSE means that funding is critical, the Government will have to step up to the plate and bridge the gap and allocate the necessary funding so that the Clarecastle Day Care Centre can open its doors to dementia patients.  If the necessary funding is not found, the big losers in all of this will be the dementia patients and their families,” he added.


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