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Residents benefit from move to new Waterford centre

Older Persons Care Staff at Waterford Residential Care Centre

Older Persons Care Staff at Waterford Residential Care Centre

Waterford Residential Care Centre recently marked two years of service at the new facility.  The transfer of residents from St. Patrick’s and St. Aidan’s to more comfortable surrounds was a challenge accomplished during the first lockdown  in April 2020.

Describing the move as a “major step forward for community healthcare” in the local area, Barry Power, Director of Nursing, acknowledged that “we have come through challenging times but we are hopefully now moving out of the pandemic and our new surroundings enable us to deliver care in a more appropriate environment.

The St. Patrick’s building, in addition to its continued use for administrative, training and storage uses has since been renovated to accommodate the Waterford Integrated Care of Older Persons day services hub. The premises on the grounds of St. Otteran’s Hospital (previously St. Aidan’s Ward) was also renovated and is now a local centre for mental health social work services.

Noting how in recent months they have expanded the range of activities they provide at Waterford Residential Care Centre Barry outlined how residents and clients were “enjoying all that is on offer here including weekly Chair Yoga sessions, weekly visits by the Irish Therapy Dogs initiative.  Sr. Frances is our Chaplain on site and so religious celebrations are again taking place. Up to twelve residents participate in open-gallery art fortnightly and Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) regularly engage us with their “Healing Sounds” musical programme. And of course we also have our weekly bingo sessions.

“We are also delighted to have the valued, continued support of the Friends of St. Patrick’s Hospital Committee. The Friends Committee generously funded Fish and Chips for residents to mark St. Patrick’s Day and have provided a fine bone china tea set for Afternoon Teas that began on Easter Sunday – during which everyone will be presented with an Easer Egg. We look forward to other occasions throughout the year and into the future at the Centre.”

Explaining that “Psychiatry of Later Life is a specialist mental health service for people over the age of 65 who haven’t used mental health services before and have been referred by a GP or Consultant,” Director of Nursing at Waterford/Wexford Mental Health Services Margaret Reid outlines how “the Psychiatry of Later Life team works in partnership with local GPs, hospitals and other health care and social services. In working to meet expectations set by the Mental Health Commission, it has been part of our plans for some time to effect this move and it has been a massive boost for residents of St. Aidan’s and their families to relocate to the Waterford Residential Care Centre.

“Our residents in Aidan’s are fully enjoying their new home, complete with access to a beautiful garden, an outdoor courtyard and the spacious common areas within the Waterford Residential Care Centre complex. It is one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country for those requiring long stay Psychiatry of Later Life residential care. Notwithstanding the excellent care provided at the previous premises on the grounds of St. Otteran’s Hospital, as staff we are delighted with the move to the new Aidan’s Unit.”

The Mental Health Commission, when publishing its inspection report on the unit December 1921, assessed Aidan’s as now having a 100% compliance to regulations. That excellent achievement has been in our minds we marked our second year of operation at the Waterford Residential Care Centre.”

The €25.4 million purpose built facility, developed on a site adjacent to St. Patrick’s Hospital, features three units (30 bed Farronshoneen, 20 bed Farrandale and 20 bed Grange) totalling 80 en suite single bedrooms and replaced long stay accommodation for the elderly previously housed in wards at St. Patrick’s.

The additional Aidan’s unit of 20 en suite single bedrooms in the Waterford Residential Care Centre replaces a shared model for Psychiatry of Later Life previously provided at the St. Aidan’s Ward building located on the grounds of nearby St. Otteran’s Hospital.