The family of a 92-year-old lady who had to move from the Carrick on Suir nursing home that she called home when it closed in recent weeks have said that the wishes of patients have “fallen by the wayside” in favour of paperwork for health standards agency HIQA.
Mary Foley was a resident of Suirmount Nursing Home in Carrickbeg, Carrick on Suir, until it closed with the loss of 40 jobs, three weeks ago. Mary has now moved to another nursing home, for which her family have nothing but praise, but, they say, she is heartbroken to have “been evicted” by HIQA from the place she called home, away from all her friends who lived with her there and worked there.
Speaking to The Nationalist, Mary’s daughter-in-law Kate told how her extended family share her sadness. “Mrs Foley has been a resident in Suirmount for over two years and regarded it as her home. She has been treated with the utmost respect and kindness by Annmarie Panton and her dedicated staff during this time. Standards of food, medical care and hygiene there were witnessed by Mary’s family to be of the highest standard,” Kate said.
Mary was an independent lady and she lived alone, at her home in Owning, but had to move in to the nursing home in December 2009.
“At the time it was ideal for her and she settled in very well. She was fearful about going in at first but they were very good to her,” Kate said. “From the time I met her it was the happiest time in her life.”
Describing Mary’s time at Suirmount, Kate said her mother-in-law had been taken to the theatre by staff, and on trips around Carrick in her wheelchair when the weather permitted. She had several opportunities to bake, assisted in creative artwork, played regular bingo and many other activities. A beautiful new garden had been established last year in addition to the lovely sheltered courtyard already used by residents. “The staff there were her friends - they watched television with her and talked politics with her. Mary was sad and worried for them losing their jobs.
“She has now moved to another nursing home, which is also excellent, and still has her family and regular visitors but she has lost her friends, both staff and fellow residents, with whom she shared her daily life for the last two years. To lose this friendship at 92 years old is a trauma from which she may or may not recover and the last two weeks have been traumatic,” Kate said.
“Representatives from HIQA refused to listen to her complaints about this while visiting Suirmount. While HIQA were established to protect the rights of nursing home patients their focus has become totally orientated around paperwork and the patients and their wishes have fallen by the wayside,” Kate said.
She went on to say that HIQA are excellent at what they do, and were brought in for the right reasons, but they seem to have forgotten about the patients. “Mary felt Suirmount was her home and she’s been more or less evicted out of her home for paperwork.”
Kate said Mary’s family wanted to pay tribute to the care their mother received at Suirmount and for people to see the patient’s side of the affects of the closure.