Nursing home staff go above and beyond to provide care
While many had the luxury of bedding down at home and waiting for Storm Emma to pass, healthcare and nursing home staff across the county braved the elements to get to work to care for patients.
In Arklow, staff made it to Aisling House nursing home at Seabank having walked to meet their employers in a four wheel drive.
'My husband drove out every day to collect staff and they were all wonderful. They are so dedicated and two of them even walked out to us from town. A couple of our staff are from Poland originally and are used to snow but they were all so good and ensured that everything ran smoothly at Aisling House,' said Jan Ali.
Ms Ali, however, was critical of Wicklow County Council and expressed disappointment that there was not more assistance given to nursing homes.
'I had to call them and ask for help to clear snow. Eventually, a local farmer came out to help but I would have thought that nursing homes would be given more help without me having to ask for it a number of times. I'm still waiting for some calls to be returned,' she said on Monday.
'I couldn't praise our staff enough but I am very disappointed in the council's response,' she said.
Meanwhile, at Asgard Lodge at Killinskyduff, proprietor Jimmy Tyrrell had the same high praise for staff and said that those who could walk to work ensured that there was a full complement at all times.
'We had some staff that were snowed in but the staff who could travel in, did so without a second thought. They were really very good. We also had a relative of one of our residents who came in with a snowplough to clear snow which was a major help. It's the old story that in times of need, people are very good to one another. Some of our residents even enjoyed the snow for a bit and for those who couldn't, the emphasis was on continuity of care,' he said.
In west Wicklow, manager Sinead Beirne said that 'thankfully things could not have gone any better'.
'We all camped out here for the duration so there were no worries regarding staffing. It really was a phenomenal experience. Everybody helped out. We had local shops calling to ask if we had enough supplies and we had the council clearing roads and the gritter in, just in case an ambulance needed to get in,' she said.