Birr Community Nursing Unit Fundraiser.

It is indeed evident that our life expectancy has increased and we are witnessing that, as a nation, Ireland is ageing. This can be credited to our evolved health care and regardless of the poor media cover it often receives, with the political antics that tend to interfere with the day to day running of the service, we can still be proud to have one of the best health care services in the world. When I was training as a nurse I would work weekends as a care assistant, in numerous different nursing homes. It was a fairly intense and busy job, as the physical work was constant and most residents would need a lot of care. I have many memories of these nursing homes and the ones that I remember most fondly are the ones that had a feeling of home for the residents. Where staff were kind and the days could be spent not only on physio and occupational therapy but also activities such as bingo and gardening. In most cases these men and women aren't sick, more that they've just slowed down considerably. Since I was a child I've had great respect for the elderly, as there always seemed to be someone who needed care in our area and never was there anyone who gave as much time or was as kind to the elderly, as my mother  .

My sister Fiona is the A-CNM2 for daycare at Birr Community Nursing Home. The hospital offers long stay care and a respite service as well as palliative care. If ever there could be an example of a health care unit run solely with the welfare of the patient in mind, then this is it. I've visited the unit where the staff and more importantly the residence are genuinely happy. This naturally must give immense relief to the families, of the residence, that their loved ones are being cared for in a pleasant and safe environment.   
There is a committee of staff from the unit, called the Friends of Birr Community Nursing Unit, that raise money for the residence comfort fund. This money provides little pleasures, that the HSE don't pay for, which include a huge range of activities and outings. There are daily activities organised for the residents including bingo, cookery classes, floral demonstrations, gardening, exercise classes and art classes. The art work of the residents can be seen on display throughout the hospital. Each week an aromatherapist and a massage therapist visit the unit and they are paid from the comfort fund. I know that my Dad would still enjoy the occasional Guinness, so I thought it wonderful that each Sunday afternoon a drinks trolley is brought to each resident and they can enjoy a little drink with their Sunday paper, again this is all paid for by the comfort fund. Also included are remembrance masses, outings to the local theatre, the odd trip to the pub and even a present for each resident, at Christmas. What I find outstanding about Birr Community Nursing Home is the dedication of staff. There are 75 residents in the unit and they are all aged between 80 and 100, so to organise all these activities and outings isn't an easy task but can be credited to the commitment that's involved from staff to make a real quality, care of the elderly service. 
Jack with Donal at Taste of Dublin.
There is a fund raising night, in aid of the Friends of Birr Community Nursing Unit, next Thursday 24th of May at The County Arms, in Birr. I'm delighted to say that the very lovely Donal Skehan will be giving a cookery demonstration, from 8 pm. The evening kicks off at 6.30pm with a wine & canapé reception, then you can browse through the attending stalls which include, Mossfield Organic Cheese{who are providing the cheese for the canapé reception}, The Emporium{soft furnishings}, Adele Brady{bags & jewellery}, Boulaban Farm Ice Cream{one of my favourite ice-creams!}, Geraldine & Michelle{costume jewellery}, O'Meara's Pharmacy, Siobhan Hickman{designer & maker of jewllery}, Vanilla Bean Bakery{novelty cakes & cupcakes}, Crossogue Preserves{jams, chutneys etc} and Georgia Smokehouse Foods{bbq sauces & marinades}. There will also be a raffle, which will take place on the night, which boosts of some very impressive prizes.
Tickets for this night cost only €20 and are on sale from The County Arms, Foxes and Butlers Pharmacy in Birr and Birr Nursing Unit. Tickets can also be bought on the door on the night. If you are in the area please support this great cause and enjoy a really fun night out. See you there! 


Caítríona said...

Best of luck with the fundraiser Nessa. I've a family member in a community care unit also and the standard of care is fantastic.

Nessa Robins said...

They do great work, Caítríona! I'm not one of the organisers, but just spreading the word! :)


Thanks for that Nessa, we need all the support we can get.

Nenaghgal said...

Should be a great event - nice to have him coming to Birr and for such a good cause!
Donal is so charismatic at his demo's and wonderful with children.

Nessa Robins said...

He's great with a crowd, Lisa. I'm looking forward to it!