The care of the older person has also been a priority in the work of Parish Ministry in which the community has been involved since its foundation. Significant developments in this ministry have taken place over the years.
From the experience of visiting many older people living in isolated rural areas in the vicinity of Carnew, Co Wicklow, the Daughters of Charity became involved in setting up Carnew Community Care, through which a variety of services continue to be provided for the older people of the area. This is a collaborative project involving the Parish, local community, many interested individuals, HSE, FÁS and the Daughters of Charity. Sheltered housing, day care facilities, provision of meals, home nursing, special needs response, social activities and a Citizen Information Centre are all provided.
Cara House is a voluntary community facility initiated by the Diocese of Cork and Ross to care for frail older people form the Northside Parishes of Cork City. This facility is a collaborative project under the care of the Sisters of Mercy and the Daughters of Charity, supported by FÁS trainees and a wonderful band of volunteers who help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes it home from home for the residents.
St John’s Rest and Care Centre, where thousands of sick and older pilgrims come each year, also provides a daily service for the older people of Knock Parish including social activities, personal development and education courses. A Meals-on-Wheels service is provided for those who are housebound.
Many Parishes, where the sisters are involved, have Day Centres and Clubs which give older people an opportunity to meet and engage in social activities and provide friendship and support for each other. Pastoral befriending and home help services are also provided on a voluntary basis to many older people in their own homes as well as in nursing homes and hospitals.