Tuesday 16 July 2019

'Is this where I'll be until I'm 80?' asks woman (41) stuck in home for elderly

Upset: Jennifer Hynes has spent two months in the nursing home. Photo: Eugene McCafferty
Upset: Jennifer Hynes has spent two months in the nursing home. Photo: Eugene McCafferty

Dan Danaher

A woman with multiple health issues has endured two months in limbo in an Ennis nursing home waiting to be placed in a more appropriate residential setting.

Jennifer Hynes (41), from Ennistymon, Co Clare, has criticised her placement in a nursing home for elderly people as an "absolute disgrace on society".

The Clare GAA and sports fan has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, asthma and is confined to a wheelchair. Following her recent hospitalisation, she was placed in the nursing home because a proper care package wasn't in place at home at Military Barracks, Ennis. She is now waiting on the result of a HSE assessment.

Jennifer believes she is "falling between two stools" as it seems she is too good for one service and not bad enough for another. She said no person with disabilities should be placed in a nursing home.

"I am upset and frustrated," she said. "It is hurtful, it is not my fault. I shouldn't be in this position. It is my condition," she said.

The Mid West HSE didn't respond to queries last night.

Jennifer's parents are deceased and she is relying on the HSE to help her live as independently as possible with back-up support.

"The staff in Mowlam (Nursing Home) are great, they encourage me and do their best for me. But I want to be around young people and live a life," she said.

"The residents are lovely but some of them are 85 and 90 years of age. I am starting to worry is this where I am going to be until I am 80?"

Before she was discharged from Ennis Hospital, Jennifer pointed out she couldn't go back to her house because the necessary staff weren't there to look after her. She was admitted to the nursing home in the second week of April.

Councillor Ann Norton has described Jennifer's two-month stint in a nursing home as a "damning indictment" on the lack of adequate services for people with disabilities.

She called on the HSE to fast-track a care plan and alternative accommodation.

Irish Independent

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