Lots of chat and craic at Ballymahon Day Centre

Staff and Friends of Ballymahon Day Care Centre L-R: Anne Daniels, Eileen Lesley, Barney Steele, Bronagh Fox, Marian Hughes, Jonathon Borland and Rita Steele. Photo: Declan Gilmore
It may be a well-used phrase, but there’s a lot to be said for respecting your elders.

It may be a well-used phrase, but there’s a lot to be said for respecting your elders.

In the busy south Longford town of Ballymahon, it’s a custom which is stongly evidendent.

The Leader got a first hand glimpse of this when we popped into its Day Care Centre last Wednesday, a facility which caters for up to 100 elderly clients each and every week.

And it didn’t take long for the cautionary gazes and inquisitive questions to start.

“Have you that thing recording?” Mary Seary, a crochet teacher asked. “You know he’s recording what you are saying Eileen.

“Ah no, I didn’t say anything wrong did I?” queried an untroubled looking Eileen Concannon as she knitted away feverishly.

“And I didn’t use any swearwords. Her fellow crochet enthusiast, Helen Sands was quite sure she hadn’t.

“Your not like Eamon Dunphy,” she replied, referring to the RTE pundit’s recent F-word on-air blunder. “You won’t have to apologise for anything.”

It was a statement which demonstrated the welcoming and laid back air of a centre that has spent the best part of a decade serving the greater south Longford community.

Open from 9am to 3:30am Monday to Friday, client users can avail of a string of activities ranging from the likes of the afformentioned crochet, skittles, photography, chair aerobics and even disco dancing.

Chiropody services and a fully equipped gym are also on site. Not bad for a premises that used to be a former Convent of Mercy chapel.

“Something like this is very important,” said centre manager Ann Daniels.

“People that come in here mightn’t speak to someone from one end of the week to the other unless they come in.”

Service user Elizabeth Fahy agreed. “It’s of great benefit to me because I live alone. It’s marvellous and I hope it will be able to continue.”

Who could argue with that?