by Valerie Vaughan, CEO of Carrigoran House

Carrigoran Health and Wellness Centre was the recipient of the Nursing Homes Irelands Community Initiative Award on November 16th 2016, for its Clare Age Expo 2016 event which was held in the Centre on April 15th and 16th 2016. This comprised of a Conference on the 15th and Community Work Shops on the 16th. The Expo was a collaboration with Clare Age Friendly County Programme.

The conference had speakers from: the Implementation Committee of Clare Age Friendly Board, Dr. Eamon O’Shea of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUIG, Dr. Amanda Phelan of the National Centre for Protection of Older People, Dr. Lucia Carragher of Netwell Centre, Ethna McTeague manager of Community Services for Older People HSE, Mid West, John Sweeney Clare Sport Partnership, Teresa Hennessy Health Promotion and Improvement HSE, Liz Early Programme Coordinator of the Masters in Education and Wellbeing of Older Person with a Panel Discussion to close. From this you can see the spectrum of interests that were being discussed that were of community interest.

Our Health and Wellness is a hub for such information and interests but this was the first time it was ever done to this scale. Day 2 was a day of work shops including Fitness for Fun, Mindfulness, Art Therapy, Reflexology, Health Screening, Pilates, Yoga, Hands only CPR which is useful for emergency situations in the community as it limits infection transfer and eliminates mouth to mouth resusitation, and fi nishing with a Tea Dance. To have people come to our facility and engage in the numbers that they did and have such a positive experience in a service that all too oft en you hear ‘this isn’t for me’ or ‘why would I need to go there’ in terms of Day Services was a wonderful achievement and one that we are extremely proud of and of Mary O’Dowd who accepted this award on behalf of all those involved. Mary coordinated the Expo with the assistance of others and kept the momentum going to see it through to a successful end. The award is established to celebrate the contribution that nursing homes make to the local community. Nursing homes don’t exist in isolation, but instead are a part of local communities. Many nursing homes play a significant role in their local communities and indeed, enable many older people/people with disabilities to remain connected with their local community. In addition many Nursing Homes have active volunteers from their local community.

Pictured at center are Mary O’Dowd, former manager of the health and wellness centre, with Minister Ms Helen McEntee TD with responsibility for Older People, Tadhg Daly CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland, the presenter of the event Marty Whelan, and the sponsors from The Bank of Ireland.

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