Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to intervene to ensure that the dedicated dementia care home in St. Joseph’s Shankhill, is not closed due to a lack of funding.
Speaking today, Teachta Brady said:
“The threatened closure of St. Joseph’s in Shankhill has come as a great shock to residents, users of the day-care facility, families and staff, many of whom are from Wicklow.
“It has been announced that the day-care service which currently accommodates up to 120 people every week will close at the end of the year and the residential home which is home to 60 dementia patients is under serious financial difficulty.
“This is based on the insistence by the HSE that they cannot afford to fund the day-care service into 2020. If this funding is not allocated, then St. Joseph’s have said that the residential service will have to be wound down.
“This is a desperate situation for residents, for users of the day-care service and for families who depend on St. Joseph’s for both.
“There are 55,000 people in Ireland living with dementia and that number is expected to double in the next 20 years. We therefore, need increased funding for dementia services and we need to see the development of more services specifically for dementia care, not less.
“We are talking about dementia patients who call St. Joseph’s home. It is the place that they feel safe, cared for and looked after.
“It is the place that they are familiar with. We know from the closure of other dementia care homes in the State that the removal of residents to other settings is never good for residents. In fact, it is detrimental.
“I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to intervene immediately and to request that the necessary funding specifically for the continuation of day-care and residential services is maintained and protected to give certainty to some of the most vulnerable citizens in the State.”