Public help sought in raising €20k to upgrade ward for elderly

Help is needed to upgrade the Care of the Elderly Ward at the Mercy University Hospital, and the public can play their part by buying raffle tickets.

In the coming weeks MUH staff will phone hundreds of households across the city and county, asking them to support the Mercy Hospital Foundation’s bid to raise €20,000 to make the ward more dementia-friendly.

The charity plans to upgrade the day room at the ward, which is currently dull and dreary and is used as a storage area. The raffle money is set to transform it into a cosy sitting room for patients, making them feel a little more at home.

People suffering from dementia may forget where they are and why they are in hospital. Disorientation and bewilderment are common experiences for people with dementia and it can be very distressing and frightening.

When a person with dementia is taken out of the familiar environment of their home, it can be very difficult for them to adjust as everything around them is unfamiliar. They can feel confused and scared.

Dr Suzanne Timmons, MUH consultant geriatrician, said creating a space that is familiar and safe will help patients to relax and enable them to engage in familiar activities, for example, watching television or sitting around a fireplace.

“The new day room will be a homely space for patients and will promote socialising and engaging in group activities. Pictures and memory boxes will enable patients to reminisce and sensory items will aim to decrease agitation and restlessness.

“Each ticket sold is so important to us. By selling tickets you are making a real and meaningful difference to our older patients,” she said.

Julie Harris, head of donor care and interim head of fundraising at the Mercy Hospital Foundation, said: “We promise to do our very best to provide you with a world class hospital, right on your doorstep, and this is only possible through the help of our supporters and donors, like those who buy, and indeed sell, tickets for our annual raffle.”

The draw takes place on Friday, November 27 and tickets are €3 each or two for €5. First prize is €1,000 cash, and second is €500.

People interested in buying, or in selling tickets on behalf of the Mercy Hospital Foundation can call 021 4274076 or log onto www.mercyfundraising.ie.


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