The Mercy Resident Care Home, a branch of the St Joseph Mercy Hospital, was officially opened on Tuesday.
The hospital said that in addition to live-in accommodation, the facility will also be providing daycare and short-term stay services.
Helen Browman, the Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, explained that the home will be providing day care services for the elderly to be accommodated while their family members are at work, as well as the opportunity for individuals to be housed for short periods, such as in the case where relatives may leave to go on vacation.
Although officially opened on Tuesday, the Mercy Resident Care Home, located at Lot 3 Pere Street, Kitty, has been accommodating persons since November 2016. The building formerly housed the Sisters of Mercy Convent.
Chairman of the hospital board, Carlton Joao related that the building, valued at approximately $97 million, features open-plan living and dining space, a bedside nurse call system, hot and cold water systems, alarm and CCTV systems, among other features.
Able to accommodate 33 residents, there are two four-bed wards, four five-bed wards, three private rooms and two private self-contained rooms.
The building is also tailored for persons with disabilities, including ramps, an elevator, and wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
“…the dream has become a reality. The old pink house is transformed. It is my hope that not only the building will be transformed, but this ministry to the elderly will also be one of transformation,” Julie Matthews, President of the Sister of Mercy, Latin and South America said during her address.
First Lady Sandra Granger, delivering the keynote address, stated that the opening of the residence was “yet another manifestation of the tradition of service for which the Sisters of Mercy are known”.
“I have been privileged to tour this residence earlier this year, shortly after it was opened. And I recognize the care and attention which has gone into the outfitting of this facility for the care and comfort of our seniors, including painting the walls in a restful colour, installing rails along the corridors, the provision of a friendly environment and a balanced diet, visits by doctors and psychiatrists and communal areas for residents to meet and mingle, whether it is to have a meal or watch a movie,” Mrs Granger said.
“These are the little things that bring joy to the lives of our seniors. Their relatives and friends will be content knowing that their loved ones are receiving compassionate care in an environment in which their needs are met, and their physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing is taken care of,” the First Lady added.
She congratulated all who had played a part in the development of the institution, stating that with the existence of the home, they will be able to continue providing what she referred to as “mercy service” to the people.
Joao noted that resident care is one of three areas St Joseph Mercy Hospital focuses on, the others being HIV/AIDS and medical outreach to the poor.
He said that elderly care has in fact been a tradition for the hospital since the mid-1980s, when they began accommodating patients during the recovery phase, and later housed them in private and semi-private rooms with other patients.
He related that after the hospital was renovated following a fire there, a space was dedicated to housing elderly patients, but as of 2014, this space became inadequate.
“…the ward was built for a short stay by those who were sick, but not for those in long-term resident care, there was simply no space for privacy, dining, recreation, or any other activities. The residents were housed in a hospital environment,” Joao stated, relating that this prompted plans to create a home for the elderly.
“The Mercy Resident Care Home is ready and willing to provide a much needed service for the elderly in Guyana. It would give the elderly a choice of where he/she would like to spend the latter years of his/her life and offer family members the comfort of knowing that their elderly folk will be safe and looked after in a facility much like home, Mercy Resident Care Home,” Joao said. (Dreylan Johnson)