A NEW purpose-built Dementia Day Care Unit at Clarecastle remains idle as sufferers await HSE funding to operate the service, a meeting in Clarecastle heard yesterday.
The unit was built in response to the growing number of people in the community diagnosed with the con- dition and anticipated future growth. It is designed to facilitate 25 people per day with mild/moderate demen- wee
According to management, the cen- tre was built at a cost of €850,000 with the Health Services Executive spending €486,000 on the project.
The remaining €364,000_ was sourced from a massive community fund-raising effort. It is planned to open the unit on a phased basis.
PaXCeOcennery Ke) management, €150,000 will be required to oper- ate the new service in year one. This will rise to €300,000 in the year two while €420,000 per annum will be required thereafter when the unit is functioning to full capacity, the meeting heard.
However, the HSE have disputed these figures and say that funding for the project was never guaranteed. In a statement yesterday, a spokesper- Son said,
“It is incorrect to state that the HSE has spent €486,000 on the Clarecas- tle ‘dementia centre’ project. Con- sistently, from late 2006 when the
project was being proposed up until the present date, the HSE has repeat- edly advised the Clarecastle Board that it was not in a position to provide revenue funding for any proposed new service. They were further in- formed that any increase in revenue provision would depend on develop- ment resources becoming available and our service priorities”.
The spokesperson — continued, “They have also been consistently advised that those individuals requir- ing specialist dementia services will continue to receive these services from the HSE provided specialist services or through the Alzheimer’s Society. Clarecastle and District Day care Centre Ltd receive substan- tial funding from the HSE (€481,000 in 2008) to provide daycares services for the elderly and we will continue to support these day centre activities. We have no new development funds and given the existing financial situ- ation do not expect to receive any in the foreseeable future.”
Reacting yesterday, Mary Morris- sey, Chairperson of the District Day Care Centre said she was disappoint- ed with the HSE’s response and that management stood over their state- ments.
The Dementia Unit is designed to complement the existing District Day Care Centre at Clarecastle, which was established in 1999. This community project provides services to older citizens in 12 parishes with
a population of 50,000 and within a ten-mile radius of the centre.
250 people per week currently avail of a broad range of services, which are provided by dedicated profes- sional staff and volunteers. About 25 of these suffer from some form of dementia. Yesterday’s meeting heard
that opening the new unit will also free up spaces in the existing day CP TCM OC NISK OMA. Y ONO UN ST-Ker- Mac UL ODOToMN DRE of 40.
“It is incredibly frustrating to see this state of the art building lying empty while there is a queue of peo- ple waiting to use it. Our day care
services with their high voluntary input save the State a fortune,” said Mary Morrissey.