Working Life: 'Our heart-failure patients were cocooning long before they were told to'

Lucinda McNerney, patient services development manager, Irish Heart Foundation.

Working Life: 'Our heart-failure patients were cocooning long before they were told to'

7.45am I have a slightly later rising time as I don’t have to get the children out to school — Oisín 17, Aoife 15, and Dervla 10. My husband Frank is gone to work for 8am as he works in healthcare.

8.30pm Sitting at my desk/ bureau in my bedroom/kitchen table. My main role is patient support here in Munster. I am usually out and about meeting healthcare professionals or at our patient information and support meetings but all of that has stopped for now.

People who have a cardiac event/diagnosis need information and support and there is such a great need for this as we self-isolate or cocoon.

The IHF has responded to Covid-19 by setting up a nurse support line on 01-668 5001 or email support@irishheart.ie and with virtual Facebook support groups Heart Support Network and Life after Stroke.

9am Some of the morning is spent checking in and answering posts on the new Heart Support Network — we have a wonderful team behind content and reassurance for patients and their families.

We have six cardiac nurses moderating and answering posts. The most inspirational part as I check through the messages is the peer-to-peer support — patients supporting patients as we journey through this pandemic.

I check in with the team, which is working hard on getting services out to those who need them. We need to enable those cocooning to continue to keep well, working with the IHF team on exercise and diet.

Working Life: 'Our heart-failure patients were cocooning long before they were told to'

12am I join our daily exercise session on our Facebook page — we do this with many of our groups around the country. It keeps us motivated and indeed connected.

1pm I have lunch with the kids and a catch-up.

2pm I contact patients who may not be online. Our heart-failure patients were cocooning long before they were told to and have been so resilient through all of this. Our phone calls are a chat, a connection to show we care and are here.

We reiterate the message that the GP and hospital are still there for you if you are feeling unwell.

5pm Dinner followed by a walk with the family.

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