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Tag Archives: nursing homes

West Clare councillors seek action on reform of Fair Deal scheme

A CALL has been made for progress on changes to the Fair Deal Scheme, which funds nursing home care, in the interests of Clare’s farm families. Councillor Joe Killeen made the appeal at the March meeting of the West Clare Municipal District when he proposed that members write to Clare’s Oireachtas members on the matter. “The Fair Deal Scheme takes 7.5% of the value of a family home for a period of three years,” he noted. “If someone wishes to defer payment, the State pays, and it’s essentially a loan on the estate of the resident. For those who have a farm or a business, it’s not capped and people pay indefinitely. A family farm could be lost in 14 years. The only exemption is in the case of sudden illness or disability. The Fair Deal Reform Bill proposes capping the 7.5% payment after three years, subject to terms and conditions. I am proposing that we ask our Oireachtas members …

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Oral history projects sparks Christmas memories for nursing home residents

AFTER what has been a incredibly tough year for nursing home staff, residents and their families, a unique oral history project is hoping to spark reminiscences about times long before the threat of Covid-19. Cuimhneamh an Chláir has dipped into its extensive archive to compile an album of Christmas stories which it is distributing to every nursing home in the county. “We celebrated our tenth anniversary last year and were delighted that we got to mark it,” said Leonard McDonagh, Chairperson of Cuimhneamh. “Some people who attended our celebrations, including the late Chris Droney, are no longer with us and that’s a huge loss. We’re also conscious that many people in nursing homes have contributed their stories and memories to our archive. We wanted to give something back to them and that’s why we created the CD.” The album contains voices from all over Clare and many colourful memories of Christmases past. Among the traditions described are preparing the house, …

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Concerns grow over second wave of Covid at region’s nursing homes

THE number of nursing homes with Covid-19 outbreaks in the Midwest stands at 20, according to the most recent update from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). As high rates of community transmission spill over into enclosed settings, the number of outbreaks in this region has risen steadily since July. However, clusters of infection in private houses, of which there are 155 in the Midwest, account for the largest number of clusters. Last week, a major outbreak at the nursing home in East Galway sparked concern about the capacity of the sector to cope with a second wave of the virus. The Nightingale Nursing Home in Ahascragh had 25 cases among 27 residents, with only one nurse and one carer available to cover at 72 hour period because of positive cases among other staff. Councillor Ann Norton, director of the Clare Crusaders in Barefield, was sharply critical of the response of the Health Service Executive (HSE), saying that they had …

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Expert panel reveals extent of Covid nursing home clusters

NEW figures reveal that Clare had the highest rate in Munster of Covid-19 cases in nursing homes, during the first wave of the pandemic. Data presented in the final report of the Nursing Homes Expert Panel show that this county had more than twice as many cases linked to care home clusters as Limerick. This is despite the fact that County Limerick had a far higher number of cases in the population as a whole (581) than Clare (371), in the period from March to June. Reacting to the figures, the Clare-based Chair of the Dáil Committee on Covid-19 Response confirmed that it will consider calling for a public inquiry into the fate of nursing home residents between March and May. Deputy Michael McNamara confirmed that the committee has invited members of the Expert Panel to appear before it on September 16, alongside representatives of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). “I don’t want to prejudge these hearings,” Deputy …

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McNamara criticises uses of perspex for visitors in nursing homes

Independent Deputy Michael McNamara plans to raise the use of perspex to screen visitors from patients in residential care facilities with Health Minister Simon Harris. While Deputy McNamara accepts that precautions have to be taken to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 between patients and staff, he is concerned about the use of perspex in nursing home during visiting times. “You visit people in a prison through perspex. I am very concerned about this. People in nursing homes are not in some kind of prison or some type of a biblical leper colony. “The idea of seeing you loved ones through a perspex screen is not acceptable. I have no problem in accepting that Covid-19 poses a huge risk of nursing homes and precautions need to be taken. “As someone who spent a considerable length of time visiting someone very close to me in a nursing home up to quite recently this shocks and appals me,” he said. Gerry O’Malley …

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‘Out of the difficulties and sadness of this pandemic, it has brought us closer together as a community.’

IN recent weeks, debate has been raging over the Covid-19 death toll in residential facilities across Ireland. Despite the differing political opinions, there is little doubt that those living and working in nursing homes were at the forgotten front line for a number of crucial weeks as the pandemic took hold. Keeping coronavirus out involves a heroic struggle against an ever-present enemy. St Theresa’s Nursing Home in Kilrush, is one of the facilities that has managed to avoid an outbreak, while as many a quarter of homes in Clare have been affected to-date, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE). “My heart goes out to those who have had outbreaks,” said Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at the family run facility on the Kilkee Road. “They have done everything in their power, but there is a constant risk and we are all living with that risk.” Yvonne, who is on call 24/7 at St Theresa’s, has seen an already demanding …

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ICA sews scrubs for nursing home staff

Members of Clare ICA and their friends joined forces and a nationwide appeal to sew scrubs for people working in healthcare settings during the Covid-19 pandemic. And the fruits of the endeavours was acknowledge last Monday when Clare ICA members and volunteer sewers Jenni Bostok, Ailish Malone and Mary Neylon handed over sets of scrubs to staff at St Senan’s Nursing Home. Clare ICA member Mary Neylon outlined their involvement in the campaign. “When the Coronavirus crisis highlighted a shortage of PPE in healthcare settings in Ireland, many people were moved to try to combat the difficulty. One of these was Sineád Lawlor. She decided to enlist volunteers to sew up the uniforms (scrubs) needed. “She set up an online Scrubs for Ireland Go-Fund-Me page to collect donations, so that she could buy material and then asked ICA to contact sewing personnel nationwide,” Mary explained. The usual fabric providers, Mary added, were swamped by requests from China, Italy, Spain and …

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Call for funding equality for public and private nursing homes

THE director of a West Clare nursing home has called for greater equality in funding, so that both private and public operators can meet the highest standards of care. Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at St Theresa’s in Kilrush, called for an end to the current “two tiered service.” She said that the focus on nursing homes, in light of Covid-19 crisis, was an opportunity to plan for improved care of the elderly. In April, The Champion reported on the gap in State support for the private and public nursing home sectors, and published figures showing HSE-run services receiving the lion’s share. “I would like to see changes to the Fair Deal (Nursing Home Subvention) Scheme,” Ms Moroney said, “so that the private sector is paid equal to the public health system, as currently we are a two tiered service as regards financial capital and inspections. Everyone thinks the private nursing homes are getting paid more than the public nursing …

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