'I think you are all getting fed up with me," Patrick told his wife during an emotional phone call two weeks ago.
As Carmel, his wife of more than 50 years, tried to explain that Covid-19 meant visits to his nursing home were curtailed, she began to cry, leaving her daughter Karen to step in.
"I took the phone and I said, 'Dad, if we could get in to see you we would,'" Karen told the Irish Independent.
"I was upset and I told him that we would move mountains if it meant we could see him, but we weren't allowed in. Then he got upset...he was crying. So he was crying, Mam was crying and then I started crying too."
Since March 7, Karen's mother Carmel has spent the sum total of one hour with her husband. Three 20-minute visits, strictly timed, during which Patrick pulls at his surgical mask and tries to give her a kiss.
"Mam tells him no but he doesn't understand," said Karen. "By the time she gets settled in the garden where she meets him and they have a brief chat, the 20 minutes are up and it's time to go. It's just devastating."
Although brief, at this stage Carmel is grateful for the time, any time, with her husband.
During lockdown, window visits to see Patrick through glass were considered too distressing given his dementia, so the family relied on phone calls.
"Sometimes he is OK on the phone but other times he hangs up without knowing what he is doing," says Karen. "His mind just goes."
When visitor restrictions were relaxed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on June 15, Carmel's hopes of finally seeing her husband were dashed after a case of Covid-19 triggered another lockdown in the home.
Her face-to-face meetings with Patrick have been permitted only in recent weeks and no other family member has been able to see him.
Before Covid-19, she visited him every day and Karen took him home every Sunday for a dinner and a drive. Now, with little or no interaction with his relatives in over four months, the family are concerned about his mental wellbeing.
"The phonecall was upsetting because we know he is becoming more withdrawn over this now," said Karen.
"We would worry that he's lonely and that he thinks we have forgotten about him."
The family are not alone. In recent weeks, concerns have been raised by many families over the impact Covid-19 has had on those living in nursing homes. While there is an understanding that there is a need to protect against the virus, there is concern over the effects of long-term separation.
It is a terrible irony of the virus: for older adults the steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 increase the risks of social isolation, which carries its own devastating health effects.
Families recognise that the policy of restricting visits makes sense from a public health standpoint, especially given the fact that more than half of the State's Covid-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes.
But the public health benefits are offset by the significant emotional toll of cutting off residents from their families.
"We have to strike a balance," said Mervyn Taylor, executive director of Sage, an advocacy organisation that represents older people.
"We have to be careful from an infection-control point of view, but we also have to be mindful of the social deprivation that is occurring.
"There is no point in protecting people in order to bore them to death."
In recent weeks, as the focus began to shift towards slowly opening up nursing homes, Sage has fielded numerous phone calls from relatives worried about the impact of social isolation. Some homes were opening up quicker than others, said Mr Taylor and, in a number of cases, it is claimed operators are using Covid-19 as an excuse to be more controlling.
"In a small number of cases Covid has been used as an excuse to be more controlling.... We have found that nursing homes that tend to be very flexible and innovative continue to be so through Covid. Then there are homes that have perhaps have been less open. They would be less welcoming to independent advocates, perhaps more regimented and we would hear back from some relatives and some staff that there is a very thin line between where care ends and custody begins."
Mr Taylor gives examples of homes that have been creative with their approach, hosting socially distanced choir recitals in gardens and erecting marquees to facilitate visits.
At the other end of the spectrum, he uses the example of one family who called Sage to voice distress after a gift they left for a loved one in a nursing was thrown into a bin due to infection-control measures.
"It has to be said that the majority are doing their level best to try to be open to families," said Mr Taylor.
"You have people who really are going to the Nth degree, concerned about social deprivation, but you have others who aren't."
Therese Bruton has a 92-year-old mother in a Dublin nursing facility. Before Covid-19, she visited her mother every day.
"I would sit with her, chat to her, watch a movie with her, I would sit in the garden with her. She would come to my house for Sunday lunch or we would go out for a drive."
All of that stopped very abruptly on March 6 and since then Mary, who has dementia, is frustrated and confused.
"I was allowed to wave at the window every day but she spiralled and become very low," said Therese.
"Some days she would say to me, 'What are you doing standing outside the window? Come on in.' I would have to say, 'Mam, I'm not allowed in. I have to make an appointment, I can't just walk in.' Some days she understands, some days she doesn't. It's heartbreaking."
When restrictions were relaxed in early June, Therese got to see her mother twice a week for 20 minutes but she is worried that the dramatic reduction in contact has exacerbated her dementia.
'It's just not enough," said Therese. "This is not a criticism at all of the staff, but Mam would have had one-to-one conversations with me every day. She doesn't converse well in a group because she can't follow.
"Nursing home staff, with the best will in the world, don't have the time to sit and have those one-to-ones and familiarity is so important to managing her dementia.
"This has impacted on my mum and it has also impacted one me. I know that she would rather have four months of good quality time rather than being shut away for that time to prevent her from getting Covid. At her stage in life it's about quality of life, rather than quantity."
For every resident who has a relative or friend desperate to see them, there are others who have no-one. For these people, who are in some cases estranged from family, the cessation of programmes that brought outsiders in has been difficult.
Normally such programmes aim to increase human contact. Now that contact is potentially deadly. Worryingly, these residents often have no voice.
"We would worry about people in that situation," said Mr Taylor, adding they often have dementia and are unlikely to contact Sage.
"Part of the difficulty with congregated care living is that they aren't linked in enough with the community. For those who are linked in, restrictions with Covid makes it difficult for organised events. We would worry that we are missing these people, that they are falling through the cracks."
Last month, a Hiqa report revealed the trauma of nursing home residents who felt fearful, confused, angry, frustrated and lonely during lockdown.
Hiqa's chief inspector of social services, Mary Dunnion, told the Irish Independent that while providers had been very innovative in the use of social media, video and telephone calls, window visits, and the use of Perspex screens, residents were yearning for more.
"Residents say that it's not the same," said Ms Dunnion. "They miss the human interaction, the touch, a hug, and seeing their grandchildren. The important thing to keep in mind is that a nursing home is a person's home.
"A good nursing home is part of the local community. However, social visits - for example, a singer coming in to the centre or a resident going out to the shops - have been curtailed.
"The benefits of accessing and being part of a community are integral to a person's wellbeing and their sense of belonging.
"An older person's world can become very small very quickly, therefore interesting stimulation, nice activities, maintaining interests and hobbies, hearing local news, and human interactions are all very important and help older people stay in touch."
Last week, as Nphet further relaxed restrictions on nursing home visits, allowing marginally more time and less restriction on nominated visitors, there was some hope for worried families and residents.
"We just want to see Dad as much as we can," said Karen.
"Our biggest fear is about what is going to happen as the winter months approach because the thought of another lockdown in the home and him being cut off from us completely is just frightening."
Until 4.30pm on Thursday, the only claim to fame of Timahoe, in the boglands of north Kildare, was that it was the ancestral home of America's (then) most controversial president, Richard Nixon.