The staff residents and families of Moorehall Lodge Ardee will be at the centre of a one-hour documentary “Home From Home” which airs on TV3 tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 9pm.
The first episode shows how the Moorehall Living group has broken away from traditional approaches to nursing home care and abolished any signs of institutionalisation such as drug trollies, name tags and more visually, staff uniforms.
The story of how Monica Boland came to live in Moorehall Lodge is told through her husband Harry. A lot has changed since the couple met in 1960. When Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003, Harry had no idea of how much Monica’s illness would impact on their lives.
“I wasn’t aware of the condition of Alzheimer’s,” said Harry. “I didn’t know what was ahead of me and when her Alzheimer’s escalated, she was taken into the psychiatric hospital in Ardee.
“They felt they could do no more for her and I had to find accommodation in a nursing home.
“I toured all the nursing homes in Louth and some are reluctant to take people with Alzheimer’s. One particular one said “No, we’re not interested” when I mentioned Alzheimer’s.
In a similar situation is Geraldine Farrell, wife of Jimmy who’s been living in the advanced Alzheimer’s house for four years, following his diagnosis with Lewy Body, a form of dementia.
“Moving Jimmy was the toughest decision of my life,” said Geraldine. “I didn’t want to let him go, but, I had to.”
Geraldine’s love for Jimmy hasn’t aged a day, despite meeting him at the tender age of 14 and standing by his side for 54 years. “Life has changed, ‘cause you know you’re never going to get your husband back.
“Imagine after your children get married and you have your husband at home with you, and then you’re left with nobody. The nights get very lonely. If you’re true to yourself, there is no cure for it and you’re losing the one you love. Jimmy retired at 62 and we should have been having fun then like going on holidays.
It’s as if Alzheimer’s takes your life away. It steals what we should have had. These are the golden days and we can’t have them.”