Eilis Hession is manager of services for older people with the HSE in Dun Laoghaire.
After a cup of tea, a brisk walk with Molly the dog, and breakfast courtesy of my retired husband, I’m on the road from Ballinteer to Dun Laoghaire by 7.30am.
I tackle emails and respond to queries. I lead our Living Well with Dementia (LwwD) programme which focuses on developing personalised community supports to enable people with dementia and their carers/families live well at home. I deal with queries from the public and colleagues in primary care and hospitals.
I meet with Joan, the senior occupational therapist, also the dementia development officer. She’s the single point of contact for people with dementia in the area.
We review new referrals and identify the pathway of supports and social opportunities of benefit, such as the activity programme facilitated by Siel Bleu, which aims to improve quality of life through tailored activities, and Dance Theatre of Ireland’s Move to Music programme.
The objective is to help people with dementia maintain social connectedness and promote their active participation in the community.
I touch base with the LwwD activities co-ordinator to decide what programmes will suit different people. Mary links us in with the volunteer who leads the activity programme on the day. We’ve a cohort of volunteers who have ongoing training.
I’m taking part in the workplace Step Challenge so I get out and about.
I’m leading on the integrated care programme for frail older people, which is inclusive of dementia. It’s in partnership with St Vincent’s University Hospital and is designed to prevent unnecessary hospital admission of older people and facilitate early discharge. I meet with the programme co-ordinator and review admissions, review patients in the programme and develop their personalised care plan.
I meet the home support co-ordinator and team to review applications; review and allocate home support and monitor/evaluate the service.
I plan the next day’s activity and liaise with members of the Dementia: Understand Together campaign, a new national campaign to raise awareness of dementia led by the HSE working with the Alzheimer Society and Genio.
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