A bright new year for the Birches at Rath Abbey

THE Birches at Rath Abbey is now up and running six months in the village of Grange, Carlingford.  During that time it has very quickly become a very important, vibrant part of the community.  

Many local volunteers come each Monday to help with the running of the centre. The clients who attend each Monday are reaping the rewards of this new ‘club’ which brings much pleasure to their lives. 

On Monday 16th Dec a day of Christmas Celebrations took place at Rath Abbey. Rev  Fr Malachy Conlon PP Cooley started off the celebrations with a beautiful prayer service. Each client received a lighted candle and a beautiful prayer.   It was a really lovely occasion as young and old blended so happily together. 

What an awesome sight to see so many young children from Grange National School walk in a neat line from the school to the Day Centre. They sang their hearts out, beautiful Christmas Carols which ignited many memories in the tired old hearts at the Day Centre.  Little children who thankfully were oblivious to the stresses of Alzheimer’s disease and yet delighted to be able to spread some magical Christmas cheer. 

When the children left, a beautiful Christmas lunch was served.  Afterwards, the clients relaxed and enjoyed lovely traditional Irish music and dance.  Some of them even took to the dance floor displaying their light footed skills.  Of course no Christmas party could be complete without a visit from the big man in the Red Suit. 

The future for The Birches at Rath Abbey looks very bright. This is because the local people have welcomed this ‘club’ with open arms and generous hearts.  Much fundraising has taken place during 2013 to ensure that this vital service in our community  will continue to do what they do best, caring for our treasured elderly.

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging.  However, armed with understanding, it can be managed and much enjoyment of life can still be achieved.  On behalf of those who use the service and their families, we would like to wish everybody a bright and cheerful New Year. 

We thank The Birches for bringing their wonderful service to Cooley.  Thanks to Jean the nurse, and her team of carers for making the ‘club’ such a wonderful experience.  Thanks to all the people who appear on a Monday, so willing to share their skills for the benefit of others.  Thanks to all the people who have supported fundraising events for The Birches at Rath Abbey during the year.   It is wonderful to witness the fruits of your labours, the smiles on the faces of the Clients who attend the Club portray more than words can ever say.

For advice on living with Alzheimer’s disease, or to use the services of The Birches at Rath Abbey,  call to the Community House at Rath Abbey any Monday or telephone the Nurse Jean on 042 9397617


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