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Talk on new Fair Deal legislation in Killarney next Tuesday

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What do you know about the Fair Deal Assisted Decision-making Capacity Act?

This new legislation which finally enacted last April.

It is aim is to provide a fair deal for our elderly who may not be able to look after themselves as they get older, through age or illness.

Hearbeat Killarney has invited Patrick Barrett Barrister-in-La to explain what all this means from a legal point of view.

The purpose of Mr Barrett’s discussion is to promote an understanding of the new legislation.

The Assisted Decision-making Capacity Act is designed to replace the outdated mechanisms for assisted decision making and wardship.

The Act itself sets out various safeguards for those who have capacity, who fear they will lose capacity, and those who have no capacity whatsoever to govern their own affairs.

For those worried about how to manage their personal affairs (such a finances, health, or living arrangements) or those of loved ones when faced with an ability to make decisions, the subject matter will be informative.

This law is about rights, and taking every possible step to assist people to continue making their own decisions about their health, finances, housing, work or personal welfare even if challenges are to be faced in doing so. This Act is of great importance for people with frailty, - dementia – an acquired brain injury – or mental illness. It could however be very important to all of us at certain times in our lives.

If both parents are alive, get them to dissolve any joint bank account and set up separate ones, with pension payments and any allowances going into the respective account. Any Care Package fees can be taken from the correct account, allowing the dementia patient to be means-tested more effectively.

Five key points will be discussed
If one parent is acting as carer, set up a standing order to pay a sum [exactly half of what is going into the other account] from one account into the other to cover h/hold bills so that the carer has enough money to manage their own life.
Ask a solicitor to arrange for TWO enduring power of attorney (EPA) certificates [a rough cost estimate is €500 for both ] to cover finance and health. This can only be set up while the parent “has mental capacity” so sooner is better than later. It enables one parent to make decisions on the others behalf. ** (see note at end)
Ask parent to set out their wishes with regard to care; will they be okay with going into a care home if needs be? Also cover funeral wishes and end of life care. Get all these answers typed up – make sure they understand it and date it and ask them to sign it. This brings clarity to their wishes while still of sound mind.
Talk about a PEACE PLAN = proactive enhanced advanced care. This is an anticipatory end-of-life care plan for those with dementia who no longer have capacity to make those kind of decisions for themselves. It helps care professionals deliver the care your parent wants in the last phases of life.
5 Check whether any household accounts eg broadband / utilities are in the affected person’s name and change them [this may require the householder’s signature]

The talk will take place at the Parish Hall on Park Road at 9pm on July 25.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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