St. Gabriel’s, like many other services closed their building for appointments in Mid March due to COVID-19. All staff are now working from home. St Gabriel’s provides services to over 650 children with disabilities and to help our families cope through Covid-19 crisis, each child has been assigned a key worker.
Therapy staff are demonstrating and implementing therapy programmes and offering practical advice and reassurance to the families. When a parent can see the therapist face to face, via FaceTime, Skype etc., they feel more support during this very difficult time.
Very practical issues that have arisen for our families may have a different member of our Multi-Disciplinary Team respond, e.g, our nursing team may help a family with a PEG feeding tube problem, psychologists are talking through strategies to help a child cope with anxiety issues, and general assistance such as collecting and delivering prescriptions from the pharmacy.
St. Gabriel’s therapy staff are supporting one such family through the use of technology. Their daughter is 12 years old, has developmental delay issues compounded by a congenital heart condition. During cardiac surgery she suffered a stroke. She was to attend the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Láoghaire but was unable to do so because of COVID-19. Our therapy staff have set up a video link and are now providing her with regular occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech and language sessions as part of her rehab through live video stream. Later in the year her parents are hoping that they will be able to bring her to the UK to a specialist rehabilitation centre.
Clinical staff are keeping in touch and have regular zoom team meetings. They are putting up resource materials online as new issues come to light for the families.
Caring for children at home under the present circumstances is difficult but caring for a child with a disability 24/7 is incredibly hard. Our clinical staff are doing everything possible to give families the maximum level of advice and interventions to support them in their own homes.
Again, please feel free to contact us at [email redacted] or call us at [phone redacted]33. We would be more than happy to hear from you.
- Eileen Collins
- David Carpenter
Organizer and beneficiary
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