TWO months delayed but no less special, residents at a Cork nursing home were finally able to celebrate Christmas earlier this week.
Staff at Cobh Community Hospital went above and beyond to deliver a meaningful day for the 36 residents who were unable to celebrate Christmas together in December due to a Covid outbreak.
“We had a couple of cases here, so for infection control reasons we had to really lock down the hospital.
“It was a very unnatural Christmas for our residents.
“They were all in their own rooms on Christmas day.
“They didn’t get to meet anybody else because we had to lock it down so much,” Erica Mulvihill, Director of Nursing at Cobh Community Hospital, told.
Now with no Covid cases, the nursing home was in a safe position to hold a proper Christmas day celebration on Wednesday.
“Our tag line was ‘Covid tried to take Christmas, we’re taking it back’.
“Twenty-five of our residents came down for dinner at 12pm.
“We had socially distanced tabling and residents had a full Christmas dinner, turkey, ham, Brussels sprouts – the works!
“All the residents got into their finest clothes, the staff were all wearing Christmas outfits – everyone had an absolute ball,” Ms Mulvihill said.
Ahead of the celebration, the nursing home touched base with the residents' loved ones asking them to send in video messages.
They also contacted Áras an Uachtaráin and received a letter back from President Michael D Higgins wishing the residents an enjoyable belated celebration.
“So we had Christmas music going, we had Santa, they had their dinner and then after their dinner, they watched a big screen of all of their relatives sending in well wishes and then they finished with a Christmas movie.
“They were all asleep by 7pm – they were wrecked!”
Ms Mulvihill paid tribute to the staff at Cobh Community Hospital for their efforts.
“Our staff just immediately rowed in behind the idea.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group – the staff go above and beyond for the residents.”