Official launch of the Dementia Inclusive Kerry GAA Communities Guide
“Very informative and provides great practical tips for all GAA clubs”
“A really useful resource for those managing GAA venues to ensure they are inclusive for all”
Dementia Friendly Tralee in collaboration with Kerry GAA launches a Dementia Inclusive GAA Communities booklet.
Kerry GAA, in collaboration with Dementia Friendly Tralee (DFT) and the HSE are delighted to officially launch a brand new Dementia Inclusive GAA Communities booklet this Sunday 17th September, ahead of the Garvey’s Senior County Football Championship matches at Austin Stack Park.
The launch of the booklet coincides with World Alzheimer’s Month, which is marked annually across the world as an opportunity to raise awareness of dementia and to show solidarity with people with dementia and their loved ones.
Photo of launch of Dementia Inclusive GAA Community Booklet 17 September 2023
Seated(L-R): Eileen Bunyan (H&W Committee), Dolores McElligott (HSE), Liam Lynch (Vice Chairperson Kerry GAA), Jimmy Mulligan (Chairperson Kerry GAA H&W Committee), Eilis Cahillane (HSE), Catherine Murphy(HSE) , Áine Ni Shuilleabháin (Kerry GAA Children’s Officer)
Standing(L-R): Joe Wallace (Austin Stack Park Steward), John O’Leary (Kerry GAA Planning & Training Officer), Éamonn O’Sullivan (Secretary Austin Stack Park Committee), Gavin White (Kerry Senior Footballer), Mike Flavin (Austin Stack Park Steward), Maurice O’Mahony (CC Delegate Kerry GAA), Barry Dan O’Sullivan(Kerry Senior Footballer), Der Brosnan (Chairperson Fitzgerald Stadium Committee)
Dementia Friendly Tralee Interagency Group was established in May 2019 with the aim of raising awareness of dementia in the community and to encourage everyone to share responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia felt understood, valued and able to continue to contribute to their community. Kerry GAA are active participants on this group, which has representatives from a wide spectrum of the community, including the HSE, Tralee Chamber Alliance, Kerry County Council, An Garda Síochána and from voluntary and statutory agencies.
The Kerry GAA is one of the most important community structures and, as members of DFT, want to encourage people with dementia to continue to be an active part of this community. One of the first initiatives undertaken by Kerry GAA in support of this was the delivery of dementia awareness training to both the Health and Wellbeing committees in 2020, and to club stewards from Austin Stack Park and Fitzgerald Stadium in 2022. Following on from the positive feedback of the training, and in response to a request for a user-friendly guide for clubs, DFT in consultation with the HSE and Kerry GAA produced the Dementia Inclusive GAA Communities booklet.
The guide contains tips on communication that will enhance interaction with those with memory difficulties and practical advice on making the physical environment dementia inclusive. It provides solutions on how GAA clubs can support those with memory difficulties to continue to contribute to their local GAA communities – whether that is through attending matches or volunteering if they choose to. The national Dementia: Understand Together campaign, which is led by the HSE, have also contributed to the production of booklet and are looking forward to helping to promote the resource to partners and champions nationwide as an example of best practise.
(L-R) Áine Ní Shuilleabháin (Kerry GAA Children’s Officer), Jimmy Mulligan (Chairperson Kerry GAA H&W Committee), Dolores McElligott (HSE), Eilis Cahillane (HSE), Patrick O’ Sullivan (Chairperson Kerry GAA), Catherine Murphy (HSE), Eileen Bunyan (Kerry GAA H&W Committee)
Patrick O Sullivan, Cathaoirleach, Coiste Chontae Chiarrai, said; “I am delighted to launch this guide today. The GAA plays such a big role in our community structures and we want to encourage people with dementia to continue to be an active part of this community, many who have given so much to make the GAA what it is today. The guide represents Kerry GAA’s continued commitment to supporting people with dementia and their families.”
Catherine Murphy is a Senior Occupational Therapist with the HSE and member of DFT who was a key contributor to the Dementia Inclusive booklet. Catherine explains what the booklet is all about; “Each person with Dementia is different, many experience memory difficulties, difficulty with money and begin to avoid social occasions which may have become challenging. Having officials and staff that understand the signs and symptoms of dementia can put people at ease and encourage people to remain engaged in the activities that they enjoy. Having pitches, clubhouses and stadiums that enhance accessibility and are easy to navigate, can make the difference between someone attending their local GAA clubs and avoiding social isolation. It’s about empowering people to engage in meaningful activities, therefore enhancing their quality of life, which in turn can enable independence and allow safety and confidence to continue with everyday activities.”
Jimmy Mulligan is the Chairperson of Kerry GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee and represents the county board on DFT, he said; “This guide which we have today was made possible by the excellent collaboration of many agencies, it followed a request from clubs seeking information on how to make their clubs dementia inclusive. These guides will be distributed to all clubs and units within Kerry GAA and will help to support people with dementia to continue to enjoy their hobbies and passions and, should they choose, continue to take an active role in their clubs.”
You can download a digital copy of the booklet HERE
For further information, please email the Chairperson of the Kerry GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee: email@example.com
Find out more about Dementia Friendly Tralee: www.tralee.ie/dementia-friendly-tralee/
Notes to Editors:
Dementia Friendly Tralee
As well as the many agencies and organisations who form DFT, family members of people with dementia and local groups for older people are also represented on the group. DFT work very closely with the HSE led national Dementia: Understand Together campaign in ensuring their messages align to the National Dementia Office’s priorities.
The interagency group has been the key to the success of the group and all projects undertaken have relied on the good working relationships and the shared aim and belief that communities when steered in the correct direction can become an inclusive place for all particularly for the person with dementia and their families
DFT and its members encourage everyone to share responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community. It demonstrates an excellent model of partnership and collaboration and indicates to locals, new residents and visitors that Tralee as a Dementia Friendly Community is welcoming place in which to connect with others and do business.
Achievements to date include:
- Dementia awareness training for Tralee businesses and organisations in 2019 and 2020
- Pocket sized information cards developed to assist with communication
- Inclusive design training for business and technical staff in Kerry County Council and the HSE with a resultant ‘Top tips on Inclusive design’ information booklet
- Kingdom Dementia Café established providing a forum for informal support for both the person with dementia/memory difficulties and family members and carers
- Brain health public information event in Tralee in 2022 raising awareness of dementia, providing information on relevant topics and an interactive evening of discussion
- Shortlisted for the 2022 National Age Friendly Awards
- Tralee Walkability study was completed in March 2023; the final report for this is to be launched in autumn 2023.