High praise for care at Sacred Heart Home
I wish to reply to critical reports on the Sacred Heart Home in Castlebar.
My 105-year-old mother has been a resident there since 2009. Just over a year ago the directors of the home informed relatives of residents that they would like an advocacy committee formed. Through this could be channelled requests, suggestions, concerns, and complaints. In my mother’s unit, we relatives decided unanimously at the meeting that no such committee was needed. What could we possibly request that was not already available? Nobody could think of a single complaint, and we ended the meeting with a round of applause for the staff.
I visit my mother between four and six days a week; it has been made clear relatives are always welcome. I always find my mother spotlessly cleaned, comfortable, well fed, and in clean bed linen. She herself has said how well cared for she is.
Quite frequently I overhear nurses, who do not know that they are being overheard, speaking with respect and gentleness to patients with dementia. They never show a hint of impatience.
Ever time I go there I encounter cleaning staff making the rounds of the rooms and corridors. They seem to be continually cleaning every surface, even the tops of the curtain rails.
As for recreational facilities, the walls of the corridors are hung with the residents’ paintings. There is an occupational therapy room, a ‘reminiscenceroom’, and a very large day care centre in which residents and visitors may watch TV, listen to the radio or discs, or enjoy the thrice weekly visits of musicians. They are encouraged to sing along and those who can even dance to the music. Each unit also has a day room with, arm chairs, a TV, and radio. There are conservatories with armchairs, books, and playing cards provided, and residents’ birthdays are celebrated.
On corridors and in the lobby I have seen suggestion boxes, also boxes collecting donations for patient comforts. There is a physiotherapy room where treatments are given, there are visits from a chiropodist and a hair stylist. There is a resident dietician.
It would be a daunting task to list all of the facilities and ‘quality of life’ comforts that this excellent home offers. When my mother’s age related needs became such that a sole carer was no longer sufficient, I dreaded letting her go into full-time care. I was relieved and delighted to find that even the excellent reports of the care given in the Sacred Heart Home did not do it justice.
(Name and address with the editor)