It is my policy as Minister for Health to encourage health boards to support community-based initiatives for the elderly, to the best of their financial ability. We are fortunate in this country to have such a strong and caring voluntary movement and the health boards and myself endeavour to help such groups in the fullest way possible.
The Western Health Board, which is the statutory authority for providing health and welfare services to the elderly, including care in the community, in County Roscommon informs me that discussions are ongoing with the Ballaghaderreen Social Services Council in relation to the proposed development of a day care centre for the elderly. This is the next phase in a development which has already seen the completion of purpose built housing for the elderly. A total of 20 houses have been built.
This development was the result of a partnership between the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Department of the Environment and Roscommon County Council. The project was funded by the Department of the Environment under the scheme for special grants for communal facilities. Funding for this scheme is granted to the Department under the National Lotteries Act. This scheme also allows for the development of communal day care facilities as proposed by the Social Services Council.