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Lifestyle – A volunteer care group in northern Connemara went the extra mile during Covid to make sure the elderly or vulnerable don’t feel isolated. Key members explain to STEPHEN CORRIGAN how song, nature, food and fun have all been freely offered to those confined to their homes, even during the darkest days of the lockdown.
While the Covid-19 has impacted everyone in one way or another, for older and more vulnerable people, the first months of confinement were particularly isolating.
As “cocooning” has become a word in all of our lexicons, care in the community has become more important than ever. And the imaginative approach of a group from Connemara showed that, despite all the challenges, even the impact of months of loneliness could be mitigated somewhat.
Connemara Care, a Clifden-based voluntary organization, provides home help services to elderly and vulnerable people living in Northwest Connemara.
With 28 local caregivers providing daily support to over 60 clients, it has grown into a leader in home care since its inception in 2018. It was then that it became an independent organization, having started its life as a pilot project of the Connemara Forum.
While Connemara Care has continued to provide its normal services during Covid, it was the team’s innovative approach that earned the organization the Social Inclusion Award at this year’s Cathaoirleach County Awards.
Coordinator Geraldine Kelly says the award recognizes team members’ dedication to “adding value” to what they do. In addition to providing top-notch care to clients, they also looked for ways to alleviate the loneliness felt by many older people when the world closed its doors in March 2020.
“The team of 28 that we have is excellent; they know the area very well. They are very close to the people they care for and, in many cases, know them or can make the connection in some way, so that the normal embarrassment when a new caregiver arrives is not. not here.
They know them and can build a good relationship, ”she says of the home help element of their job.
This was a project led by Assistant Coordinator Kathleen Aspell Mortimer that provided a welcome escape for those confined to their homes when the pandemic struck.
To find out more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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