A Dublin broadcaster has spoken out to help others after her campaign to secure a home care package for her 94-year-old dad proved successful.
Teena Gates from Blanchardstown hopes to inspire other families to seek vital community support to assist with caring for loved ones at home.
He shared her emotional story following a social media campaign to get her dad, Terry Martin, home after he was hospitalised earlier this year as a result of a fall.
Teena said: “My father has an acquired brain injury and was diagnosed with dementia earlier.
“He was in hospital for two months and when he was ready to come home, I was looking for a care package for him.
“But I was shocked to discover that some carers were waiting months and even years. My dad did not deserve to be institutionalised and I wanted him to be cared for at home.
“I was lucky that I was able to get a home care package for my dad – but I know that there are so many others out there who are still trying to find one.”
Teena, a respected radio broadcaster and author, set about highlighting shortfalls within the system and garnered an army of supporters through her social media profile.
At one point, she posted on Facebook outlining how the family were being pressurised to place Terry in a nursing home despite not wanting to.
She wrote: “I don’t want dad sitting healthy but confused in a ward full of sick people looking forward only to mealtimes and sneak visits to the veranda outside his window by Google, his dog.
“I am watching his will to live drain from his mind in front of my eyes. Dad is a man who worked and paid taxes for nearly 80 years. He is a man who helped form our country.”
Teena is now a full-time carer for her dad at home, and still works three days a week in the media.
She is determined to speak up for others who are going through the same challenges.
Speaking at a special event hosted by the Dementia Carers Campaign, she said: “Carers do so much great work on behalf of the State and saves it so much money.
“Carers make huge sacrifices and actually feel guilty when they take a break or want to go out for a coffee. This shouldn’t be the case.
“Carers need to know that they must look after themselves, and care for the carer is so important.”