Tuesday 21 November 2017

Worried relatives are left 'shocked, disgusted and appalled' by stories

Edel O'Connell

RELATIVES of residents at the Rostrevor House nursing home expressed their anger and shock yesterday.

There was a steady trickle of visitors to the home in the affluent suburb of Rathgar, Co Dublin, in the aftermath of disturbing revelations.

Worried family members, who said they were "deeply shocked, disgusted and appalled" by the allegations, waited anxiously for news on where their loved ones would now be cared for.

The relatives were let in through a ground floor door and quickly ushered inside. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is now running the home and is seeking to find beds in alternative accommodation for the home's 23 residents

Vera Dowling, from Churchtown, Co Dublin, who has been visiting her sick, lifelong friend at the home for the past seven years, said she was reduced to tears by the news.

"I cried and cried when I turned on the radio and heard the news. I could not believe it. I am so worried for my friend, who is 89. She has been here for years.

"I was sickened to my stomach when I heard what happened. I just can't believe it," she said.

"What I am most worried about is whether anything bad happened to her as she is confused so she would not necessarily be able to tell me. I am also worried about where she will be moved to. There are a lot of people at the nursing home today who are very angry about what happened," she added.

Claire Ivory, also from Churchtown, whose elderly husband Pierce has been a resident of the home for more than two years, said she was "absolutely disgusted" by the revelations.

Worrying

"We are trying to find somewhere else for him now, it is a terrible mess. He has been here for two years. My husband forgets things, so you can't really rely on his account of how his care is going, which is worrying.

"Overall I thought the care was fine, but I did once have to ask about the fact that he used to barricade himself into his room -- we thought it was just part of his condition, but now I wonder. It is very shocking," she said.

Siblings Julie and Robert Somerville, from Knocklyon, Co Dublin, said they were greatly concerned that their 91-year-old grandmother would be moved to a home far from her native Churchtown.

"This has been going on since 2004 and yet it is only coming to light now and our grandmother has been here for almost eight years. This concerns us a lot," said Mr Somerville.

Two sisters, Marianne O'Driscoll and Martina McKenna, from Rathgar, whose mother died at the home 10 years ago, said they were "absolutely disgusted but unsurprised" by the revelations.

"We always had concerns for how our mother was treated in that place. We did everything for her ourselves, all of her washing and cleaning while she was in there, but we are so angry and upset at what we have now heard.

"We are so worried that our mother went through things and never told us about them. She died sitting in a chair," said Mrs O'Driscoll.

Meanwhile, residents living nearby told the Irish Independent they had often spotted patients in their pyjamas wandering outside the environs of the nursing home alone.

"This place should have been closed down years ago. These were vulnerable, elderly people and were entirely reliant on their carers to protect them from abuse," said one resident.

Irish Independent

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