90-year-old's distress as Offaly day centre closes without notice
Concern has been expressed in Offaly this week as a vital day care centre remains closed pending the procurement of a new nurse.
Offaly County Councillor Frank Moran told the Offaly Express that he received a call on May 17 about the Clara Day Centre, which has now been closed to vulnerable users for nearly two weeks.
"I received a phone call from a user of the centre in a distressed manner – this lady in her 90s was due to attend the centre
as normal where she would have her legs dressed by the nurse on duty and have her dinner and join in on the activities with other users until her return bus journey home, however her bus never arrived," Cllr Moran said.
The elderly woman was subsequently informed that the centre was closed as there was no nurse on duty due to retirement. Cllr Moran's understands that the nurse in question had signalled her intention to retire three months ago and called on the HSE to act more efficiently in relation to the matter.
"I contacted the HSE and eventually got to speak to the manager with responsibility for the centre where I was assured the matter was been dealt with as a priority," he said.
However, he went on to say that although it was expected the centre would be back operational late last week or early this week, it remains closed, a situation he describes as "a huge worry."
"People attending this service feel it’s vital for their health and wellbeing – they subscribe €18 a week, where they receive transportation to and from the centre, meals and snacks during the day and activities such as bingo, cards, and sing along for three days a week," Cllr Moran explained.
The service also affords them access to a nurse to help if they need any routine medical attention. The service caters for people from many areas including Clara, Ballycumber, Ferbane, Kilbeggan, Rahan, and The Island.
"I believe the HSE has acted way too late on this matter," Cllr Moran said. "They have had three months to recruit a replacement," he blasted.
Speaking to the Offaly Express on Tuesday, Cllr Moran said, "I have been in contact with the manager only this morning and he is hopeful a nurse can be procured shortly, however I will contact the HSE on a daily basis until this vital service is back up and running."
Deputy Barry Cowen has also raised his concerns directly with the HSE. "We hear on a daily basis the concerns for our elderly and vulnerable been subjected to social isolation and to have this service suspended for as long as it has just adds fuel
to the problem – these people deserve to be prioritised and the service open immediately," Cllr Moran concluded.
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