News that daycare centres for older people will reopen on a phased basis from July 5 has been welcomed in Cork.
The Government has confirmed that the HSE intends that 101 day centres will reopen by the week of July 5 nationally.
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.
Well-known advocate for older people in Cork, Paddy O'Brien said that the news has brought “great joy” to a large number of people after 14 months of isolation in their homes.
“The elderly population were isolated in their homes for 14 months with the closure of centres which are always very well attended throughout the city and county. I know of elderly people who attended two different centres each week before the pandemic and it would be the only social outlet they would attend during the week.
“Senior citizens going to these centres can relax, they’re with people they know, they have their own friends and in most cases, these centres are situated in their own locality,” he said.
Mr O’Brien said that the reopening of the daycare centres from July will see older people reunited with their friends and allow them to enjoy the simple comforts of life after the “desperate and terrifying experience” that has been the last 14 months.
He commended the organisations that have been running daycare centres for older people for many years and that continued to ensure people were okay throughout the pandemic when the centres closed.
He also paid tribute to those in the city and county who organise “the exceptionally popular” men’s sheds.
“Men find it more difficult to adjust to their new lives when they reach retirement age and the men’s sheds are playing a very important role in helping many men acclimatise to their new lives and these organisations should be well supported.
“I can’t emphasise enough how important the daycare centres and these men’s sheds are to the elderly people of Cork and I encourage people who aren’t already attending a centre to get involved,” he said.