Dr. Bill Grealish and his wife Margaret attended a meeting arranged by Claregalway Amenity Group on the 2nd May last in the Parish Church Meeting Room.
At this meeting Dr. Grealish expressed his opinion that more urban facilities should be made available and that some emphasis should be given to greater use of rural or semi-rural sites on town and city periphery rather than rural-remote areas.
He cited the greatest proportion of our population resides in urban areas, with easy access to shopping, banking, leisure and social amenities. At a time when mobility is reduced and assistance is most required, why are aged care facilities located away from urban centres, without access to facilities or transport.
Nursing Homes have a connotation or association with the poorhouse, or last resort or abode for the unwanted. Whilst many nursing home residents are content and happy to have the care and attention they need, others feel depressed and unwanted.
The concept or perception of aged care facilities as places of detention, or dumping ground must be reversed. Retirement homes should be attractive and offer an environment and benefits that would entice would-be residents to actively pursue admission rather than the reluctant placement that pertains at present.
Dr. Grealish talked at length about the importance of involvement for the elderly, particularly those who are actively involved and through no fault of their own rely on the assistance of Nursing Homes. Age alone is not a defining factor. Some eighty or ninety year old persons are fully active and independent whereas others often many years younger may be invalided.
Personal circumstances and choices may mean that of persons in equal circumstances—one may elect to seek assisted care and another may not. There are obvious demarcations for various level of care within a nursing home ie. persons with incontinence, Dementia, Chronically ill, Terminally ill or simply frail or aged. Differentiation was not always a priority in the past but this is now considered essential.
Dr. Grealish’s Nursing Home plan proposes ten beds to each unit, one wing to a particular care, Respite care (temporary care, holiday for carers), Convalescence (short term post-op or step down care), Alzheimers and Nursing-Home proper. Local employment would be created for up to twenty people and a day care unit would be made available for the local community. This day care unit would also facilitate active programs for the elderly on a regular basis.
Dr. Grealish will present a more detailed plan on Thursday, the 20th June in the Parish Church Meeting Room at 8:30pm sharp. All interested parties are invited to attend and personnel will be available for questioning on the proposed Nursing Home.