Home Instead Leopardstown client Brian Rothery described how his local Public Health Nurse had performed a number of “miracles” which improved his quality of life, at a national conference yesterday.
Brian, who is 86 and blind, was speaking at Home and Community Care Ireland’s (HCCI) Annual Conference, where he shared a virtual stage with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, former Minister of State for Older Persons Jim Daly, Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health in New York and other leading figures involved in older persons’ care.
Brian told the audience that his Public Health Nurse helped link him with the National Council for the Blind, ALONE and Home Instead CAREGiver Natali Kocijan, who in turn helped him rediscover his passion for creativity, from which he once made a living.
The retired writer, journalist and press officer told an online audience how he moved to Dublin from Wexford 18 months ago, after he lost his sight, to live beside his daughter. It was then that he was introduced to Natali. Podcasts
“My social and intellectual life appeared to be over, as I could no longer read or write. All this changed when my carer began to come to me from Home Instead, Natali, six days a week, in the morning time. Natali is originally from Bosnia, and had formerly been in publishing, so we had many stimulating and interesting conversations, and still do have,” Brian says.
“All this meant was that while the potential for my loneliness and isolation increased through my blindness and old age, my social and intellectual life began to expand.”
Brian has brought his professional skills back into his life, and with Natali’s help he now produces podcasts.
“I talk to her about my podcast ideas and I rehearse with her. I can occupy myself for a whole week preparing it and getting it off by heart. Between listening to the radio and planning podcasts, it keeps me intellectually stimulated,” Brian says.
You can watch Brian and all the other speakers at the HCCI conference, Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing, here: https://hcci.ie/conferences/