14 Aug 2022

Heartwarming - Connecting Kilkenny families with loves ones

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

Back: Mary Barrett presents the tablets to Director of Nursing at Mooncoin Residential Care Centre Trish Curran, with (front) Activities Manager Margaret Murphy and Caroline Brett

A south Kilkenny nurse who saw the devastation of families separated from loved ones in hospital and care homes during the lockdown has raised more than €3,000 for a project to keep them connected.

Public Health Nurse Paula McCormack teamed up with work colleagues Caroline Brett and Mary Barrett, both health care assistants from Carrick-on-Suir, set up the fundraiser ‘connecting families with loved ones in hospital’.

I witnessed first-hand the devastation and grief families were having due to loved ones in hospital,” Paula explained. “They could speak to them on the phone but unable to see them.

I came up with the idea of getting tablet devices to break down the communication barrier. It will allow families to see loved ones on a 10-inch screen as the elderly find it hard due to reduce vision to see on the smart phones, and hopefully reduce the anxiety until they can physically see them again.”

The first device was active in Greenhills within the hour of delivery. It was an emotional experience as the families involved had not seen the patient, who was very poorly, in six weeks. It was a poignant moment as the patient passed away the next day (not Covid related).

The fundraiser was very successful. They gave the first two tablet devices and eight care hampers to Greenhill nursing home, in Carrick-on-Suir, May 6; five devices were given to South Tipperary General Hospital and one each to St Brigid’s hospital in Carrick and the Little Sisters’ home in Waterford.

A tablet was presented to Mooncoin residential care home and another to ICU in St Luke’s general hospital.
It is hoped many families will benefit from the devices. Caroline, Mary and Paula thank all who donated.

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