Lauren Kelly aged 10 from Greystones, has one Christmas wish this year and it is very simple, she wants her Granddad to be able to stay in his home at Saint Joseph’s Shankill.
Her Grandad’s name is Paul and she and her sister Emma affectionately call him Pops. Paul is one of the 60 people living at Saint Joseph’s Shankill, which is Ireland’s largest dementia-specific nursing home.
Paul started attending the day care service a number of years ago, which gave his wife a much-needed break during the day. For many people living with dementia there comes a time when the care they need can no longer be managed at home, that time came for Paul after his wife became ill, and with no vacancies at Saint Joseph’s he was admitted to another care home.
As Lauren explains in her letter to Santa, the nursing home he was admitted to did not meet his needs, and the family were delighted when a vacancy became available for Paul to come and live at Saint Joseph’s earlier this year.
Lauren and her mum Fiona now say that Paul is sometimes too busy to see them when they visit! His day is filled with activity and engagement specific to him and his needs. Paul is also a part of the Men’s Sheds club at Saint Joseph’s.
All the people living in any one of the six lodges at Saint Joseph’s come from different walks of life and different backgrounds. The one thing they have in common is that they all need specialist dementia care from highly trained, intuitive and caring staff.
Over the last number of years as well as improving the quality of life of many people living with dementia in their care, Saint Joseph’s has engaged with the local community. They have connected with many people, organisations and schools in the area through their Caring for Carers Courses, Schools, Community Programmes, and newly formed Cinema Club. They have built a strong volunteer team of nearly 130 people who all making an impact in people’s lives daily.
Lack of funding cannot be the reason that this best in class dementia home is forced to close.
If you would like to help Santa make Lauren’s wish come true, you can write to your Local Representatives with your Christmas wish to Save Saint Joseph’s Shankill.