Galway 091-761024, Mayo 094-62480 Roscommon 0903-25078
Alzheimer’s Disease is a disease of the brain affecting the memory. Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s can be suffering for up to 20 years in an increasingly dependent state.
There are an estimated 4,000 people over the age of 65 in the West, 1,500 of whom are in Galway and City and County, who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and according to statistics the disease is going to be on the increase early into the next century.
When people forget where they left their keys or where they parked their car, they become worried that they might have Alzheimer’s Disease but it is much more serious than that. An Alzheimer’s patient will not recognise family, friends or rememeber their names and as time goes on, will get lost in their own home, becoming confused as to where they are. Twenty-four hour supervision is needed for an Alzheimer’s sufferer. There is no known cause for the disease at present and no known cure.
A Day Care Centre for Alzheimer’s patients opened in Galway City on May 12 this year. Situated in Tirellan Heights, the centre is open every Wednesday and is aimed at giving carers of Allzheimer’s sufferers a well deserved break. Meals are provided at the centre as are special activities to suit the needs of what the Western Alzheimer’s Foundation describes as its ‘Clients’. The aim of the centre is to maintain a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere with trained staff who are familiar with the needs of Alzheimer’s patients.
The carer is the most important person in the equation, they are the people who suffer most. The patient is confused and not aware of their situation while the carer is the person under most stress. The Western Alzheimer’s Foundation advise families of Alzheimer’s patients that it is very important for them to Share the Care which is the motto of the Foundation. The Foundation provides counselling over the phone or in a person’s house. When they visit a home they show a video and explain to the family the different stages of the disease.
There are presently 77 people working for the Western Alzheimer’s Foundation between Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The foundation also has a home support service that visits carers homes throughout the three counties. A respite home has been opened in Claremorris and, while there is a Day Care Centre in Galway, it is hoped to have full-time Centres in Galway and Roscommon in the near future.
The Western Alzheimer’s Foundation have contacted a number of County Councillers in Galway with a view to building a Respite Home in Galway and they have one site that appears very suitable.
If people with fundraising schemes would contact the Western Alzheimer’s Foundation’s Galway office, your support would be greatly appreciated New members are always welcome.
On the second Tuesday of every month, a carers meeting is held in the American Hotel, Eyre Square at 8.30pm. Carers and friends are welcome.
A special Thank You to Glynn’s Garden Centre, Dunleavy’s Supermarket, Summerfield Service Station and Hughes Supermarket Claregalway, for their sponsorship towards the opening of the Day Care Centre in Tirellan Heights.
Christmas Cards—packs of 12 cards are available from the Galway office and in your local shops. Your support this Christmas will be greatly appreciated.
Wishing you and your families a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.
Ann O’Reilly, Rockwood
Chairperson Galway Committee