Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD unveils a plaque at the official opening of Drogheda’s new Alzheimer Day Care Centre, Tredagh Lodge. Looking on are the CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Andy Heffernan (left), Gerry Leydon Chair of the Drogheda Branch and Mayor of Drogheda Michelle Hall. Photo: Andy Spearman.
This morning, after 25 years of lobbying for funding, running coffee mornings, raffles and a myriad other fundraising events, the Drogheda Branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) finally realised their dream with the official opening of the Tredagh Lodge Day Care Centre.
Speaking at today’s opening ceremony, the Chair of the Drogheda Branch of ASI, Gerry Leydon, told the large attendance which included politicians of every hue and rank , staff, supporters, family members, volunteers and members of the wider Drogheda community, that the provision of the brand new, state-of-the-art Tredagh Lodge Day Care Centre is “the realisation of a dream.”
“We now have a day care centre of which we can be proud” he said. Thanks to the tremendous support of local people and businesses over the last 20-plus years. One that can provide the best in terms of day care and supports increased numbers of people living with dementia, their families and carers in the area.”
There are an estimated 578 people living with dementia in Louth, and another 2078 in Meath. The new centre – which has cost €1 million to build – will allow The ASI to cater to 20 to 25 people daily and provide much-needed support to people living with dementia and their families.
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Speaking on behalf of the people of Drogheda, Mayor Michelle Hall thanked Ann Shortt, Gerry Leydon and the rest of the hard working committee members, past and present, for the many years of hard work they have put in to achieve their goal.
“Thank you for all the years of fundraising, thank you for all the years of working in premises not fully suited to the needs of the clients, thank you for looking after our loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s” she said.
“Your hard work and dedication has paid off as today we stand in this purpose built facility, large spacious rooms, kitchens, offices, garden and car parking, and more importantly still located in Drogheda.”
The Mayor pointed out that Tredagh Lodge has a calmness that she said must relax those coming to the centre, the colour scheme especially picked out for persons with dementia.
“Unfortunately there will more pressure to deliver services for persons with dementia and Alzheimers in the future, as Ireland has a growing older population and 2.5% of the population is projected to suffer from this disease by 2050.
“The Drogheda Alzheimers society have now a blueprint design for other counties to replicate and I hope that this government and any successive governments support the building and staffing of such buildings so that other citizens of towns around Ireland don’t have to wait over 20 years to receive the standard of care they need and deserve.
“But today is a day of celebration, and to Ann, Noel, Gerry, Carmel and all the other fabulous Drogheda people here today, know that we are eternally grateful to you all for your commitment on this the official opening day of Tredagh Lodge. “
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland CEO, Andy Heffernan said: “... This centre is a testament to the tireless efforts and dedication of our volunteers, the Drogheda Branch, and the people of Drogheda. 2022 is The ASI’s 40th Anniversary, and this triumph is a fitting tribute to the work we do for people living with dementia in Ireland.
Thousands of people living with dementia and their carers in South Louth and East Meath can now access vital supports and activities. I’d like to thank Minister of State Mary Butler for her support over the years and am very grateful for her presence at this launch.”
Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, said: “... In line with Sláintecare principles of developing primary and community health services to enable people to stay healthy in their homes and communities for as long as possible, there will be an additional €15 million investment dedicated for dementia-specific supports and services in 2022. This includes an increase in home support hours dedicated specifically for people living with dementia and an additional €7.3million for the continued implementation of the National Dementia Strategy. I wish to acknowledge the hard work by everybody involved in making today a reality.”