Cooley Country Market

Cooley Country Market takes place at Cooley Hall on Sunday 12th July 9 am to 2 pm.

For info, or to donate to the market, contact Anne 086 3938289

Life is like a photo album, and as we view the current pages, the faces of those we love dearly smile out at us. Then slowly as we flick back through the pages, we relive and enjoy pictures of all the happy past occasions shared with family and friends. Unfortunately, for those whose life has been effected by Alzheimer’s disease, this pleasure is no more.

For some living with Alzheimer’s disease, when they open their family photo album, current pages are blank. Memories of things which happened recently are unable to be held and treasured. Those beaming faces cause confusion. Dearly loved family are now strangers. As they turn the pages, and move towards the back of the album, grains of recognition are found. Parents and friends from yesteryear are recognised, and old worn photographs take on a priceless value as a connection is found. That fine line between past and present is a blurred confused one.

Alzheimer’s disease is a challenging journey, both for the person with the condition and those who care for them. It effects the thinking and reasoning part of the brain and memory. In the year 2000, The Birches Day Centre was opened in Dundalk. Built by the people of Louth, to create a haven of understanding for those effected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Sadly, with the passing years, demands for their services increase more and more. To date, the local people have never shied away from their responsibilities. They have stood shoulder to shoulder with those who run this service. Warm loyal people who choose to take hold of the reigns rather than turn and walk away. Two years ago, The Birches extended their service and opened up a new Day Centre in St James House, Rath Abbey, Grange Carlingford. Each Monday, clients who use this service spend tranquil hours listening to music, enjoying lunch, and taking part in many activities tailored to suit their individual needs.

Under the professional care of the trained Birches staff, they find respect and value for who they are now, as well as for who they were in the past. The Day Centre has now become a magnet, attracting the very best of local people as they volunteer their services each Monday to quietly cook and care for their own people. Sometimes, the warm gentle touch of another’s hand is all that is needed to calm a troubled mind. This service has now been extended even further, reaching right out into the local community. The Birches trained staff are now out and about, visiting people in their homes, giving family carers a few hours break.

On Sunday 12th July, a fundraising market will take place in Cooley Parochial Hall. This is a day when an entire community comes together, knowing that those who will benefit are our own treasured elderly who have given so much of themselves to others. Many ladies are baking for the market. There will be all the usual stalls selling a fanfare of home baking, jams, free range eggs, and vegetables. Many beautiful items have also been donated so it promises to be a bargain hunter’s paradise. The market will run from 9 am to 2 pm. The Country Cafe will also be open, showcasing the best of Cooley baking, teas and coffees, all served with a warm welcoming smile.

On Monday 29th June, the clients who use the Birches at Rath Abbey took up the challenge of making country butter for the market. As their tired weary hands held the old vintage churn, many happy memories were resurrected. It was a pure pleasure to listen to their stories and that priceless smile of ‘recognition’ on the many happy faces created treasured moments for all present.

Cooley Country Market takes place at Cooley Hall on Sunday 12th July 9 am to 2 pm.

For info, or to donate to the market, contact Anne 086 3938289