REMINDER:Visits are not permitted under Level 3, 4 and 5 of the Living with Covid-19 Framework .
The HPSC have updated their guidance document for visitors to residential care facilities to align with the Government’s Plan for Living with COVID-19.
We know how vital it is for you to see your loved ones, but we also need to ensure that COVID-19 is not accidentally introduced into our residential care facility, making the safety of all our number one priority. In line with the Living with Covid-19 Five Level Framework published recently, under levels 3,4 and 5, visiting to residential care facilities is not permitted except for compassionate and critical reasons.
We have updated our own visitor protocols and here is a summary of the key points on visiting at each Framework Level:
Protocol for Visitors to the each of our services has been outlined individually in the documents below.
On Friday 11th September, Nursing Homes
Ireland (NHI) received correspondence from the Department of Health regarding
new public health advices.
As a result of the continued increase in COVID-19
cases, all residential care facilities in Dublin are to reduce the number of
visitors to one nominated visitor per resident for a period of three weeks.
This situation will be kept under review and any further updates will be
notified to families.
We would advise families to discuss amongst themselves
as to who the one nominated person will be and ensure that only this person
visits once per week. We also ask that visitors wear the provided surgical mask
at all times from entering till exiting our facility, observe social distancing
by remaining 2 metres away from your loved on and adhere to our infection
Please note this temporary reduction does not apply if
you are visiting for end of life care/palliative purposes and an appropriate
risk assessment will be conducted during your visit.
Thank you for your understanding in our attempts to
keep the wellbeing of our residents and staff a top priority.
In July 2020, the Government released a very limited list of countries (“Green List”) where you can travel from without having to undergo the mandatory restriction of movements. The inclusion of countries on this list is based on the current epidemiological situation and public health information.
More recently, COVID-19 related restrictions has been
re-imposed on some Irish counties. This is as a result of an increasing number
of cases in these areas.
It is extremely likely that the restrictions of
certain counties and countries will continue to change in the coming weeks and
months and we ask families to please adhere to local and national guidelines.
As a result, we will unfortunately not be allowing anyone into
visit loved ones who falls under the following categories:
Lives in the following Irish counties (until restrictions are eased):
Has recently come from a country not on the “Green List” (e.g. USA) and has not completed the mandatory restriction of movements for 14 days preceding their visit to Highfield
Please note this does not apply if you are visiting
for end of life care/palliative purposes and an appropriate risk assessment
will be conducted during your visit.
Since the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) publicised their initial guidance on 5 June 2020 for relaxing the visitor restrictions (which has since been revised here), we have been delighted to welcome you all back into our services.
Elmhurst Nursing Home was the first part of the
organisation that re-opened its doors on 15 June, with the Alzheimer’s Care
Centre following on 30 June and our Mental Health Services re-opening with a
phased approach from 7 July and onwards.
So far, visits have been a success and we have been
privileged to witness an array of emotional reunions between family members.
The pictures below show an example of a visitor room where you have been seeing
your loved ones. These rooms are currently the best location for visits as they
are aired and cleaned after each booking.
Our visitor protocols have been texted out to all
families over the last few weeks which included important information to note
when entering the organisation and how to book. If you have any difficulties
with making a booking then please contact the identified personnel stated in
the relevant protocol:
We would like to thank all who have provided their
feedback as it continues to help us iron out any issues and shape this entirely
new process. There may well be challenges in the coming weeks and months but
everyone at Highfield will ensure that the health and safety of our residents,
staff and visitors will be maintained.
Please be aware that the HPSC may revise their
guidance without notice to ensure it is in line with how the COVID-19 virus
affects the community and the nation. Highfield will then take heed of any
revisions, examine the information, and update our protocols and our families
in due course.
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.
Over the past few months, we have seen communities banding together in the joint effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at Highfield Healthcare, we have felt the incredible support from local businesses and organisation, who have taken the time to acknowledge and honour the efforts of our amazing frontline staff.
Food Glorious Food
The Comet Bar in Santry for delivered free pizza, The Greenhouse chefs’ project delivered 2 course meals to our staff working in our isolation units and Krispy Kreme in Blanchardstown donated dozens of donuts to keep our staff full.
We would like to wholeheartedly thank you all for your incredible donations and gifts. You have helped keep our frontline staff smiling through one of the most difficult times any of us have ever faced.
To support their local community during the Covid-19 crisis Redmond Fine Foods have joined forces with the very talented chefs Mickael Viljanen, Mark Moriarty and Paddy Lee (formerly) of The Greenhouse restaurant on Dawson Street, Dublin.
The Greenhouse chefs’ project will see the team cooking at least 200 meals a day to be distributed to front-line workers.
Highfield Healthcare staff working in our isolation units were delighted to receive their first delivery on 21st April, which was shared out across both day and night shifts.
On Monday, March 23rd, Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) announced a brand new initiative to combat the effects that social distancing can have on both older people and young children.
Comfort Words is a national initiative encouraging children to reach out to older people in nursing homes during Covid-19.
Comfort Words is encouraging children to support older people during this difficult time by writing to them. With almost 30,000 people across the country in nursing home care, NHI believes children can fulfil an important role in promoting positivity amongst residents and maintaining contacts in the weeks ahead by connecting with them.
Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, explained “Comfort Words does not have to be unique to older people in nursing homes and can also be replicated for older people living in the community. We would also encourage people to utilise the free postcards being provided by An Post for connection with residents in nursing homes.”
As proud NHI members, Highfield Healthcare would welcome any messages for our wonderful residents. Below you will find the addresses for our three care of the elderly services;
Elmhurst Nursing Home
Alzheimer’s Care Centre
Hampstead Avenue, Off Ballymun Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 XNV2
At the moment, the world has found itself in an unprecedented situation. It is completely understandable to feel worried and anxious in this time of uncertainty. If you feel like it is all getting a bit much for you, here are some tips for reducing your COVID-19 anxiety.
ONE: Focus on things you can control, such as your thoughts and behaviours.
TWO: Keep the big picture in mind. Humankind will survive this.
THREE: Remember that the size of the news coverage may not equal the size of a threat.
FOUR: Let wisdom and logic guide you.
FIVE: Turn to reputable sources for your news.
SIX: Control how often you check the latest news.
SEVEN: Model peaceful behaviour for those around you.
EIGHT: Evaluate your own health behaviours and be a model for others, including children.
NINE: Feeling too isolated? Maintain digital connections with people.
TEN: Don’t let fear influence your decisions, such as hoarding supplies.
In line with guidance provided by
NHI, we are currently working on setting up access for face-to-face calls
through the following applications in order to facilitate communication through
a screen during periods of restrictions:
FaceTime (supported on Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad/Mac devices only)
Skype (supported by a web version, and apps on Android and iOS smartphones and Windows and macOS computers)
Roll out of these apps will commence
on Thursday 12 March 2020, with a view to implementation by the weekend. A
further update will be provided once this is in full operation.
To avail of this new feature, please
ring us in advance and staff on the unit will be able to schedule and discuss
with you and answer any questions.
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