Care StoriesFriday November 1, 2019
Everyday stories of care from Nursing Home Ireland member nursing homes
DEFINING WHAT CARE MEANS
As part of this campaign we asked our member nursing homes to share their stories of care. We were astonished with the response. We received stories from all over the country; Mayo to Dublin to Kerry and back again! Members, residents and their families defined what caring means to them. Innovation, fun and a refreshing commitment and passion for providing care was at the heart of many of the stories received.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Many stories focused on friendship. We heard the story of Brian at Lucan Lodge, who spends his breaks chatting to Patrick, a resident with whom he has a wonderful relationship. Brian takes Patrick out walking to the shops, enabling him to enjoy his independence. Another example was the friendship between Mary and Andriea (also from Lucan), a resident and staff member who went to Riverdance together as a surprise gift for Mary’s birthday. “Going the extra mile” for residents was a big theme, as staff and members showed us the ways in which the make an extra effort – in ways big and small – to bring joy into residents’ lives.
MILES OF SMILES
There was Anne in Cloverhill in Roscommon, who gave Della, a resident there, a makeover for a family communion. With a carefully selected outfit, hairdo and makeup, Della felt like a million dollars on the day. Or take the example of Anne Marie from Ashford House, who personally drove George all the way from Dun Laoghaire to Kildare to visit his son. And of course, we can’t forget the story from St Gobnait’s in Limerick. After discovering that Breada, a resident there, had worked for many years at the Lakes Hotel in Killarney, her carer Maura arranged to take her – as well as a group of other residents – on a special trip down to Kerry to visit her old place of work.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE!
Doing that something special for residents proved to make a big difference – as well as providing fun for residents and staff alike! There was plenty of excitement at New Ross in Wexford when the Director of Nursing got married – not only did they have a pre-wedding celebration, they also held a mock wedding and full reception at the Nursing Home itself. Romance was also on the cards at Sonas in Mayo where a special Valentine’s Day celebration was staged for Beryl, a resident, and her husband Frank.
As well as wonderful stories about relationships formed and activities enjoyed by our residents and staff members, we also heard inspiring stories of healthcare. We heard all about the innovative methods used at the dementia treatment facility, Saint Joseph’s in Shankill, including a no-uniform policy for staff, the importance of touch and tactile affection as well as the introduction of meditation and other holistic therapies. We also heard the moving story of James, a resident at Portiuncula in Westmeath who was receiving end-of-life care, only to make a complete turnaround and eventually be discharged. Whether it’s healthcare, relationship building, special outings or just something small thing that makes all the difference – the stories brought to life very different aspects of care and what‘caring together’ means for residents. Caring together is what our member nursing homes and their teams live every day.