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Dynamo Irishwoman vows to fight for dementia care packages

Dynamo Irish broadcaster Teena Gates vows to fight for dementia care packages

15.9.2019

Dynamo Irish broadcaster Teena Gates vows to fight for dementia care packages

Siobhan O'Connor's Women on Top: When her beloved father – former builder and publican Terry Martin – fell and developed dementia at 93, Teena’s world fell apart

When her beloved father – former builder and publican Terry Martin – fell and developed dementia at 93, Teena’s world fell apart.

“Then all the fighting began. We had him in hospital, then discharged even though he had a broken eye socket and a bleed on the brain and a traumatised hand.

“His diagnosis was that he acquired a brain injury and vascular dementia and would require 24-hour care.”

“The log jam was the hospital didn’t want to leave him in my care as he was too much for one person to look after for 24 hours – he’s a falls risk. We qualified for the care package but there wasn’t one available – we were stuck.

“I was told if I left the hospital with him and went against medical advice he would drop down the HSE list. As a journalist for 17 years I did the one thing that was second nature to me – I started writing about what had happened.

“It didn’t start as a campaign but then I knew this is what I had on my hands.

“I’ve done the pre-budget submission for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

The broadcaster, 54, also opened up on life at home.

“The 24-hour care means you don’t get to sleep, you don’t go to the bathroom, you don’t get a shower because dad could fall.

“I’ve covered every inch of concrete in the garden with foam, it’s very much like having a baby-stroke-teenager, stroke-toddler.

And brave Teena is fighting tirelessly to end elderly discrimination.

“My dad was costing the State thousands while he was in hospital, but our Care Package is roughly in the region of €500 a week.

“Recently we’ve heard nursing homes also have a backlog.

“I was running triathlons, swimming the Liffey – I think I have an issue with food and it becomes my comfort when things go rubbish.

“I’ve lost five stone since January – I’m on the journey again.”

You can also check out our Irish Mirror GAA sports page.

Read more: Irish Daily Mirror

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