Christmas treat comes early for rest home residents

Christmas came early for some residents of Blake Manor Nursing Home in Ballinderreen as they embarked on their first adventure since Covid-19 struck over a year and a half ago.

Six residents, accompanied by two Blake Manor staff, made the 10km journey to the SCCUL Sanctuary Therapeutic Support Centre in Clarinbridge for a day of exercise, music and relaxation.

One of the residents. revelling in the novel outing. was Della who found the experience to be most enjoyable.

“Would you believe that today was our first proper ‘outing’ since January 2020," she says. "We were treated like lords here today from the moment we arrived until the moment that we bade farewell. It was such a treat to meet people again, hear live music and just have the craic

"We joked that it was our first taste of Christmas and the next thing they pulled out Christmas crackers. We will bask in the warm memories of today for some time to come.”

William Browne, manager of the SCCUL Sanctuary, says they have had strong engagement with local nursing homes through online therapy sessions which commenced in March 2020 and continue to this day.

"When we first met online 19 months ago we were strangers. Today it was like catching-up with friends. They’ve been through so much during Covid and here they are – still smiling and with a zest for life. It was an honour to host these very special people today."

"It took a lot to make this happen – the wonderful team at Blake Manor and their ‘can do’ attitude and the Galway Centre for Independent Living for providing transport. We are also very thankful to the Galway Age Friendly Programme and Galway County Council’s ‘Positive Ageing Week’ initiative for making this event possible. We look forward to welcoming more people and groups, both online and in-person, in the weeks and months ahead.”


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