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Kerry woman lends voice to Alzheimer campaign

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A Kerry woman is this week calling on the Government to wake up and listen to family carers in rural Ireland - who are feeling lost and isolated.
Jane O’Sullivan from Ballyfinnane cares for her husband Donie, who was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease four years ago.
This week Jane, who lives between Killarney and Tralee, added her voice to a campaign by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) calling on the Government to make ‘dementia a key priority’.
Last week, carers from all over Ireland attended the Emergency Dementia Summit (EDS) in Dublin, calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Older People Jim Daly to make good on their public statements that ‘dementia is a key priority’ by directing urgently needed funds to dementia-specific services, in the 2019 HSE National Service Plan, which is to be announced shortly.
ASI say that in Budget 2019, the Government has yet again ignored the shameful fact that people living with dementia in Ireland are being deprived of a basic minimum standard of care, as evidenced by the recent mapping of dementia services undertaken by the ASI in conjunction with the HSE.
This week, Jane, who worked in Killarney for many years, told the Killarney Advertiser that there are over 4,000 carers in Kerry and not only are they being forgotten about - but also feel isolated caring for loved ones at home alone - as there are no proper resources available.
“It’s a 24/7 job,” Jane said.
“And it’s quite lonely. You’re whole life changes, you’re isolated and your freedom is limited – that’s one of the hardest things.”
Jane relies on private care when she has an appointment as the couple’s five children live away.
Recently a close family member passed away in Australia, but sadly Jane couldn’t travel, explaining that the cost of a private carer while away would have been too much.
She says there is only one service for Alzheimers patients in Kerry, The Rosemary Day Centre in Tralee, but ideally she says there should be more.
“Something as simple as having an Alzheimers Café that patients could interact with others like them. It’s little things like that.”
Also, she added that there should be more resources available to help the carers care for a loved one.
“I would like more funding to be available in the county for more services.
“52 services are needed in Kerry and currently in Kerry there’s only six. The Government has to realise that the problem is bigger than they think.”
The Alzheimers Society of Ireland said they will not stop advocating on behalf of all the people and families facing a dementia diagnosis.

Helpline: The Alzheimer Society of Ireland National Helpline is open six days a week Monday to Friday 10am–5pm and Saturday 10am–4pm on 1800 341 341.

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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