WORK­ING LIFE

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health -

Eilis Hes­sion, man­ager of ser­vices for older peo­ple, HSE Dun Laoghaire 6.30am 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. 8.30am 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. 9.30am 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. 11am I touch base with the LwwD ac­tiv­i­ties co­or­di­na­tor 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.

Lunch

I’m tak­ing part in the work­place Step Chal­lenge so I get out and about.

2pm

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.

3pm

I meet the home sup­port co-or­di­na­tor and team to re­view ap­pli­ca­tions; re­view and al­lo­cate home sup­port and mon­i­tor/eval­u­ate the ser­vice.

6pm

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.

Visit www.un­der­stand­to­gether.ie or Free­fone 1800341341.

“The ob­jec­tive is to help peo­ple with de­men­tia”

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