The purpose built “Healthy Living Centre” opened in April of last year, replaces the old Day Care Centre and provides care and support for the elderly population of New Ross and the surrounding areas to help maintain the independence of elderly people in their home environment for as long as possible. In addition to social activities, the Centre provides services such as meals, social activities, chiropody, personal care and hairdressing for its elderly clients. There is also provision at the Centre for the HSE to provide local access to Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy on an appointment basis. Other sessional services provided include the Tissue Viability Nurse and a Psychiatrist of Later Life. Admission to the unit is by GP or Public Health Nurse referral. There is a Community Meeting Room at the Centre, used free of charge by voluntary organizations for meetings and training (including groups such as Aware, Grow, Rapid, the Carers Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, New Ross Community Development & Community Voice). The Brandon Unit, which is coming into operation on a phased basis at the Centre, is currently used once a month by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to provide day service for up to eight clients from the local area. Supported through Section 39 funding from the HSE, there are plans in place to expand the service.
Ms. Pauline Bryan (The HSE’s Local Health Manager for the Wexford area) said:
“We are delighted that the Minster is here with us today on what is a ‘good news day’ for New Ross and the HSE. I know that the local community we serve here are very proud of both facilities. The staff we directly employ in this part of Co. Wexford and those whose work the HSE supports will be aided in their care giving through the HSE’s delivery on commitments made as regards the refurbishment to the New Haughton Hospital and the development of the ‘Healthy Living Centre’”.
Pauline Bryan, Local Health Manager for the Wexford area thanked the HSE staff involved in the project including Margaret Nowlan O’Neill, Director of Nursing, New Haughton Hospital, the Local Lions Club for the donation of a piano and the Friends of New Haughton Hospital for their contribution to the refurbishment. Pauline Bryan also thanked the Friends of the Healthy Living Centre for their work and contributions to the new centre. Pobal and FÁS were also thanked for their support. According to various measurements, the New Haughton Hospital is performing very well – including in hygiene ratings, which is a tribute to all the staff. The average length of stay for patients here can be two to four years, so it is a home as much as a treatment and care facility. The staff at New Haughton provide high quality, holistic care to our residents and we involve them, their families and carers in doing so and we are part of the ‘Health Promoting Residential Care Initiative’ – a joint programme supported by the National Council on Ageing and Older People.
The Community Services provided by the HSE in Co. Wexford are very much enhanced by having a facility such as the ‘Healthy Living Centre’ in New Ross. It’s also important to the HSE to be able to link with and facilitate the variety of voluntary and community organizations using this Centre. The Day Care Centre and the staff in the facility are doing extraordinary work – ranging from the weekly patchwork group to assisting with provision of Task buttons for people living alone as well as prescription collections, pension collections, shopping and bringing clients to their GPs as requested. It is, truly, involving the community in healthy living.