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06 Oct 2022

Older people in Donegal are at real risk of isolation and loneliness

Families and relatives of older people are impacted by the lack of fully operating adult day centres

Older people in Donegal are at real risk of isolation and loneliness

Urgent action must be taken to ensure that adult day centres return to full capacity in the North West

Older people in Donegal are at real risk of isolation and are desperately lonely, the regional coordinator of a national organisation which provides advocacy and support services to older people has warned

Ann Griffin, Sage Advocacy’s regional coordinator, North-West says it is worried that the failure to fully reopen some adult day centres in the North-West has left older people and their families feeling “forgotten and abandoned,”

This body provides advocacy and support services to older people, adults who may be vulnerable and healthcare patients who claim adult day services, which have not resumed in a number of locations.

“I know from my advocacy work that adult day centres in Donegal and Leitrim not only provide
essential health services to many people who use them, but also provide a place where older people can also meet up with others in their communities, have a hot meal socialise and enjoy activities that they might not otherwise get a chance to do.

“Without these services, some older people in Donegal and Leitrim are at real risk of isolation and are desperately lonely and unfortunately, it is not just in these particular counties where this is happening.

“I know of many older people who really look forward to going to an adult day centre, for some it really is the highlight of their day, an opportunity to meet with people of their generation who understand them, who share their interests and who they really connect with - and for those that can no longer do that, it is literally quite devastating.”

Sage Advocacy has warned that many adult day centres also provided important health services and personal care services pre-Covid19 to older people which some can no longer access.

Ms Griffin said that families and relatives of older people are impacted by the lack of fully operating adult day centres.

“I know from my work that family members – who may also be providing care and support – are now feeling under extreme pressure without the backup of the day centres. They provide a crucial support mechanism for carers – it gives them a break which is very important to their mental health also.”

Sage Advocacy believes urgent action must be taken to ensure that adult day centres return to full capacity in the North West in order to support older members of the community.

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