Hello! My name is Mark Mitchell and I am from MS Ireland’s East Wicklow Branch. Back in 2006 was my first visit to the MS Care Centre and I would like to share with you my experience and what it was like for me.
For those of you who have stayed there, I am talking to the converted. But for those who haven’t I’m going to tell you all about what you’ve been missing!
As many of us know, there are very few places where we can go on holiday or for a mini-break that has all the facilities that we have in our homes. I have yet to experience anywhere other than the Care Centre.
You simply telephone the Care Centre or email to book a five-day, seven day or a twelve-day break. They ask you about your requirements such as if you are a wheel-chair user, what level of independence you have, medication, dietary requirements etc. You can also get a referral from your GP or local regional Community Worker to stay at the Care Centre.
If you have private health insurance, your stay at the Care Centre maybe covered. If you do not have private health insurance, we ask for a voluntary contribution of €20 per day.
There are 12 rooms and on arrival the staff will bring you to your room. They will help with your luggage and unpack it if required. The nurse on duty will visit you in your room and conduct a medical check including your blood pressure.
Some of the staff have been there since I started going in 2006. They are all so obliging and they fulfil your every need.
On the evening of your arrival there is a Welcome Meeting. This is where people introduce themselves even if people have already met by then. The Care Centre team outline what’s ahead for our stay such as physio, Yoga, Mass on Sundays, a light exercise class, jacuzzi, shopping and sight-seeing day, nightly bingo, quiz, film night, art classes, flower arranging and live entertainment where musicians come in and perform. The events and activities are always very enjoyable.
There is an amazing library complete with a huge selection of books and audio books. These are donated to the Care Centre and you are welcome to take them with you. There are also hundreds of DVD’s that you can watch in your room if you wish. Some guests like to bring some wine or beers to have. Many groups play Scrabble and even Poker.
All the above therapies and events are free of charge and part of your stay.
Some therapies are available on a fee basis, i.e. hot stone massage, reflexology, hairdresser/barber, chiropodist etc.
There is a beautiful garden and it’s wonderful to sit out and enjoy the sunshine.
As you will have gathered, the facilities are superb and in my opinion, have yet to be equalled anywhere in Ireland. It is like home from home.
The food is delicious and all home cooked by Colette the Chef, who is an angel.
When you go back home, you will be fully rested and have made several new friends. You may well arrange to return to the Care Centre with them. Your wife/husband/partner and Carer will have benefitted from the break as well. Many people take a holiday in the sun knowing that you are been looked after in the best way possible.
Are there any down sides to the Care Centre? Well, maybe one. You will most definitely put on a couple of pounds! Buy hey, it’s all good.