It is a indication of exactly what a society is like if you examine the way it treats its elderly.

There is something incredibly moving then to hear a woman in her nineties make a plea for the retention of a caring service she uses in her locality with the words: “You feel you are just a number”.

Elderly people in two of Northern Ireland’s most deprived areas are devastated by proposals to rationalise day care services. A centre in Rosslea is to close and users would be expected to travels to Lisnaskea or Enniskillen. That would mean a journey of up to 23 miles one way.

Garrison would merge with Derrygonnelly, which would become a level 1 centre that deals with the highest level of need. Garrison would become a social and luncheon club.

One user of the service has described the plans as cruel.

Indeed, they must seem like that to someone who has lived for ninety years and has compromised mobility and looks forward to getting out and socialising. A long trip on a bus in winter is probably not an option they relish, of indeed would feel able to embark on.

It will have an effect on carers -- trying to get elderly people ready for longer journeys to day acre centres.

Rural areas face challenges already in terms of access to services, especially in the area of health and social care.

Loneliness is a recognised concern for the elderly. Making day care accessibility more difficult for these very elderly people is not going to improve that situation, in fact, it will make it worse.

This week our report from the day care centres in both of these villages allow the elderly people who would be affected by these proposed changes to say how they feel about them. Their fear and concern for the future is evident.

It is not the way we should be treating our senior citizens at a time in their lives that they should be cherished and looked after.