Dr Miriam Kennedy is a Consultant Psychiatrist here at Highfield Healthcare, working with our Mental Health Services. Recently she shared her personal experience with dementia and caring for her elderly parents with Irish Times Health+.
In this article, Dr Miriam recalls her and her sister’s experience of finding the right nursing home for their mother – “who had developed symptoms which we later found out were part and parcel of a dementia.”
Below is an excerpt from the piece, where Dr Miriam explains what a nursing home meant to her family.
“A nursing home is not a hospital.
It is not a residence.
It is an extension of your own family home . . . where you entrust your loved one to a home. It must be somewhat homely. Yes, the hygiene was good, yes the food was good, but more importantly, we could visit any time. My father could go every day, and even at Christmas, if she could not come to us, then he could spend Christmas dinner with them. We were welcomed.”
In the context of the current COVID-19 crisis, the distance that families must endure away from their loved ones, is a struggle we are very familiar with here at Highfield Healthcare, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the families and friends of our residents for doing what they can to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to every husband, wife, son, daughter, grandchild, friend, loved one – you have supported us in this extremely difficult time, and helped keep everyone safe by maintaining your (physical) distance.
As we head towards a return to somewhat normality, we are eager to reunite families but are also incredibly conscious that the health and wellbeing of our residents is paramount. We will continue to contact all families regarding any changes to visiting restrictions and look forward to the day when we can all be together again.
Read Dr Miriam’s full article on the Irish Times website – here.