Plan unveiled for phased reopening of day centres for older people

ALONE charity seeks locals to visit elderly people across Dundalk

The Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, TD has confirmed plans for the phased reopening of day centres for older people in communities across the country.

Minister Butler confirmed that the HSE intends that 101 day centres will reopen by the week of 5th July. More centres are expected to resume over the weeks of July and August, with any remaining services that require adaptation works reopening before the end of the year. Funding will be made available for centres that require such works.”

Minister Butler stated that “day centres are fundamental to the health and well-being of our older population and play a key role in enabling older people to live independently in their own communities.

The pandemic and associated restrictions has had a profound impact across society and especially for our older population. I have made it a priority to ensure that day centres reopen as quickly and as safely as possible, following the necessary closure of centres last year in response to Covid-19.

Minister Butler continued that “while services may have to operate at a reduced capacity, initially, this is a huge step forward in the resumption of day centres for older people. It follows extensive planning by the HSE and has been made possible by the advanced stage and positive impact of the Covid-19 vaccination programme among our older population.”

Communication with service users will commence shortly, in line with the re-opening dates of local day services. The HSE will also publish a list of day centres reopening on their website as soon as possible. Service reopening and communications about services are reliant on the ongoing efforts that the HSE is making to restore its systems.

Further information on the resumption of day services for older people is outlined in guidance published by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre earlier this week and can be found at www.hpsc.ie.

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