independent

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Country market to aid Alzheimer care

Published 19/03/2014 | 05:20

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Old films and old music, old faces and old places, the good old days – what memories do they evoke for you ?

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For thousands of people currently living in Ireland with dementia, recalling the years gone by is something which becomes increasingly difficult with each passing day. The condition is more than just forgetfulness, though. Instead it is a collection of symptoms from a gradual loss of the ability to think, learn and communicate and carry out daily activities. It can be difficult, not only for the person living with dementia to cope with, but also for their carers and families.

The Birches Alzheimer Day Care Centre is giving both those diagnosed with dementia and the people who look after them much support. It is very important to remember that education unlocks the mystery and switches on the light of understanding. Coping alone is an isolated and lonely road, and nobody should walk that road alone when The Birches is there to support and care.

In July of 2013, The Birches spread their wings and opened up a new Day Centre at Rathabbey, Grange, Carlingford. It has gone from strength to strength as the people of Cooley welcomed them to their community. Days in Rathabbey are now spent igniting those old memories, perhaps it might be the scent of freshly baked breads, the chorus of a song from a bygone era or the telling of an old story. Each person who walks through those doors reminds the staff of the wonderful world we live in and the richness and value of each human being.

A typical morning will begin with a welcome cup of tea, followed by stimulating and fulfilling activities, which gives the person with dementia a sense of achievement for having taken part in some activity. A tasty lunch is then served followed by many more activities. The Birches at Rathabbey is open each Monday except for bank holidays.

The people of Cooley know and appreciate this vital service in their community. They have shown this by their wonderful ongoing support of the Birches at Rathabbey.

In order to raise funds to continue this great community link with our treasured elderly, a country market will take place in Cooley Hall on Sunday July 6. The organisers invite everybody to get involved in this community market. For our green fingered friends, we invite you to plant a few extra seeds this Spring.

Your efforts could reap so many rewards. For the crafty people, perhaps you might consider making something for the market. We welcome everything from a pin cushion to a painting. Let there be no bounds when it comes to caring for those who took such good care of us. Any donation, no matter how small will be very welcome.

The organisers of the Cooley Country Market would like to thank all who have helped and supported these markets in the past. Your kindness and generosity continues to live and breathe each Monday in the vibrant Day Centre in Rathabbey. For enquires regarding the market, Contact Anne 086 3938289.

The Birches at Rathabbey is an open door for those effected by Alzheimer/Dementia. For advice, info, or to use the service, call to Rathabbey any Monday or ring the nurse on duty – Jean at 042 9396717.

To contact The Birches in Dundalk, telephone Olive on 042 9351388 or visit www.thebirches.ie

The Argus

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