Gallery & Pictures

Laois Alzheimer Centre is officially opened in Portlaoise

Stan Henderson


Stan Henderson


The Laois Alzheimer Society centre was officially launched by chief executive officer for Alzheimer Society of Ireland Pat McLoughlin.
“In the Alzheimer Society, we thrive to bring understanding into every community. There’s no better way to do it in Laois than to bring our resource centre right into the heart of the community here on main street Portlaoise.
“The midlands overall is a black spot for dementia and Laois is right at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to resources. We were asked by the HSE to prepare facts and figures which we have done and we hope to sit down with officials for discussions as soon as possible.
“To bring Laois up to standard on dementia and place the county on par it will cost in the region of €300,000. As an organisation, we have to fundraise €3.3 million annually to continue providing our services to clients, family members and carers. There are serious service issues surrounding dementia at the moment that need immediate attention.” he said.
Acknowledging and thanking public representatives for attending the official opening Mr McLaughlin added, “We need people to approach their councillors and TDs to appeal to them to push for much needed help. Dementia is on the rise and if we don’t have the resources to deal with it today then how can we deal with it when it doubles or trebles into the future.”
The international symbol for those living with dementia, their families, friends and those raising awareness of the disease is a purple Angel.
Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council John King cut a purple ribbon on the day declaring the resource centre open.
“It’s a great pleasure to be invited to open the Laois branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. There are over 55 thousand people in Ireland living with dementia. This new centre will provide support groups and personal care for clients, carers and families on the whole in Laois.
“It will be great for people living with dementia and will indeed help them to live their lives to the full and with dignity. I wish the centre every possible success into the future,” he said.
Frances McCormac is chairperson of the Laois branch.
“This is a fantastic turnout and we are very happy to welcome you all here today. Our Resource Centre is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
“We are blessed with a fantastic team of dedicated people here including our homecare co-ordinator Ann Munnelly, Vice Chairperson Andrew Byrne, Treasurer Norma Booth, Secretary Breda Dunne, Public Relations Officer Jacintha Byrne along with Mary Fitzpatrick, Lena Rowe and Mary Cushen.
“We run six-week family carers courses on Tuesday evenings from 7- 9.30pm. We also run a support group on the third Wednesday of each month from 7.30-9pm.
“Our next social club takes place on Thursday 25th October in Abbeyleix District Hospital from 2.30-4pm. The following social club will be on Thursday 8 November. The venue will be confirmed closer the time. Everyone is welcome to call in and talk to us and we are delighted to have private meeting rooms.” she said.
Master of ceremonies for the afternoon was southeast region operations manager Mary Bardin. For further information phone 057 8663398 or 086 8372168 or email or call into the centre.