24th December 2020
Visitors and passersby have been cheered in recent weeks by the creation of a Christmas Winter Wonderland on the campus of Peamount Healthcare. According to CEO Shona Schneemann: “We know Christmas will be tough this year for many people and we know that it is unlikely to be a traditional family type celebration that service users at Peamount Healthcare have known in past years. And so to try and provide some cheer and entertainment, we transformed our campus into a Christmas Wonderland to share a sense hope and Christmas Cheer for both service users and staff.”
“Our staff worked really hard in a very inventive way to create this really special Christmas themed Winter Wonderland. We all wanted to ensure that our service users were able to experience the wonder of Christmas and so to achieve that our wonderful staff created the pop up scenes across the campus and mapped out planned walks and visits. ”Within the Health and Wellness Centre (Hub) they were able to keep the traditions of community togetherness alive, while maintaining social distancing, and bringing some holiday magic to everyone.
The centrepiece of their creative endeavours has its own special tale however, with Santa’s Sleigh made on campus by Peamount Facilities and Maintenance staff using obsolete equipment and materials. “It was an amazing achievement – we are all thrilled with their efforts and overwhelmed by the result. It was an ingenious undertaking, effectively recycling materials that were no longer in use and all achieved at very little cost. Our dedicated team gave much of their own time to create it along with the rest of the scenes bring Christmas joy to the residents, patients and staff.”
The Sleigh was lit up a few weeks ago and is on show at the campus as part of their ‘Christmas Wonderland & Light up Peamount’ festival display.
Acknowledging the challenges staff have faced in recent months Shona added: “Given the ageing demographic and the vulnerability of residents, keeping the campus COVID-19 free and protecting residents from the adverse outcomes associated with this pandemic has been a priority. National restrictions resulted in the necessary closure of Day Services for extended periods, restrictions on family visits and curtailment of other important social support networks. At Peamount Healthcare, we are very mindful of the fact that social isolation comes with its own health risks, including loneliness, depression and anxiety. So to address all of this, we have been actively engaging with family and friends and setting up contact through patio visits. We have also used virtual solutions to allow contact including the use of iPads. And so in recent weeks, The festive season has provided us with the opportunity to raise spirits and make it a season of joy and happiness.”
Peamount Healthcare is an independent voluntary organisation that operates in partnership with the HSE CHO7 and the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group to provide a range of health and social care services. They have been been providing health and social care services to the community since 1912 including Rehabilitation Age Related Services, Rehabilitation Respiratory Services, Residential Older Persons Service, Residential Neurological Service, Residential Intellectual Disability Service and Community Services.
Shona concludes: “During its long and distinguished history, Peamount Healthcare has seen many changes in the range of services it provides. Today the focus of Peamount Healthcare’s services is on empowering each individual to live a full and meaningful life. And with our Winter Wonderland this year we hope we have provided fun, cheer and hope for everyone here.”