Jack McGuinness, John Maguire and Carmel Maguire at Kilmainhwood party.

Daycare centre celebrates 20 years in Kilmainhamwood

Kilmainhamwood Area Development Association, or KADA as it is known, recently celebrated 20 years of its daycare centre and meals on wheels service with a party for 100 people.

For the past 20 years KADA, a registered charity, has been providing an invaluable service to elderly people in the Kilmainhamwood and surrounding areas through its day care centre, and also provides 70 people with hot meals to their doors each week through meals on wheels.

For many older people, visiting the daycare centre is the highlight of their week and manager Fiona Keogan said there is a great social aspect to it

The daycare service runs from Monday to Thursday with 100 people visiting the centre each week. They are picked up by minibus and dropped home again afterwards and while there, have a three-course meal and take part in various activities like exercise classes and art, or just have the chats with their friends.

They also meet the public health nurse, Loreta Gargan as well as availing of services of a chiropodist and hairdresser.

Fiona explained that there is also a drop-in service for people who just want to come to have dinner, with quite a number of bachelors or widowers doing this.

The Meals on Wheels provides hot meals to about 70 people each week and volunteer drivers deliver to elderly people in a 10-mile radius of Kilmainhamwood including Nobber, Tierworker, Meath Hill, and Drumconrath.

Fiona paid tribute to the volunteers saying: "Our volunteer drivers are brilliant, we wouldn't be able to run without them."

It is also an opportunity to check in on the elderly people they deliver to to make sure they are ok.

During Covid, the meals on wheels driver may have been the only interaction the elderly people had and Fiona said Covid had a big impact with a lot of people very nervous of mixing again.

"Some people really went into themselves throughout Covid and it was hard to get them back. But eventually they came back to us and havent missed a day since," she said.

For people who feel they aren't "old" enough to go along, Fiona encourages them to "try it once" and see how they get on. "If they don't like it fair enough, nobody is going to make them go but when they do come in, they keep coming. They have great fun and many who don't get to see their neighbours much because they can't get out or don't drive, have great craic with them.

"They have become very close to their neighbours again and built up relationships that they would have had years ago, maybe dropping their children to school."

KADA has eight staff members with a mix of full time and part time staff. Many of the original staff came back for the 20th birthday celebration and many still visit the centre regularly.

Fiona thanked public health nurse Loreta Gargan, the HSE's Services for the Elderly, the committee of KADA, staff and volunteers for their support over the 20 years.

The Daycare Centre is part of Kilmainhwamwood Retirement Village. KADA already owned the daycare centre and 32 of the 50 houses and recently purchased the nursing home which continues to be operated by Mowlam Healthcare.