iPads for Palliative Care in Nursing Homes
This project set out with the aim of providing an iPad or tablet to every private nursing home in every county in the Republic of Ireland, using directories specifying nursing home numbers, resident numbers and other essential data provided by Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) and HSE.
The iPads Initiative for Palliative Care began as a Tiernan family idea to provide iPads and Tablets to every Palliative Medicine Department in acute hospitals throughout the country, in order to facilitate video communication between patients isolated in hospital and their families. Devices were also donated to some hospices, hospice home-care teams and some neonatal intensive care units, included at the National Maternity Hospital.
This venture was very successful and greatly enhanced the quality of lives of patients, their families and the staff in hospitals around the country.
Following its success, we extended the initiative to Nursing Homes, with the hope of providing one tablet/iPad to every Nursing Home in Ireland.
The aim of the project was to support residents in connecting with family members during the lockdown restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
Prior to our introduction to a small group of Venture Capitalists, which was facilitated by Niall Sinnott in the Department of Health, and their incredibly generous offer to arrange a large donation from themselves and colleagues, we had already distributed 228 devices. These were a combination of directly donated new and pre-loved iPads and tablets. New tablets were purchased with monies donated to a GoFundMe Page which The Tiernan family had set up. Of these 228 already distributed, 146 went to nursing homes and 82 were distributed to palliative care teams around the country, including acute hospitals, hospices, homecare teams and neonatal intensive care units.
The anonymous donors raised the amazing total of €96,000.00, which enabled the purchase of an additional 459 Samsung tablets, giving a total of 687 devices to distribute.
Our donors have asked us to stress that the €96,000 was provided by a wider group of donors who have elected to remain anonymous and who channelled their donations through the Beacon Foundation.
The tablets were delivered to the Tiernan home. The Tiernan children, with the help of one of the donors and his children, and Niall Sinnott and his children, set each tablet up with Zoom and Skype, password protected them, sanitised and packed them.
Overwhelming support was provided by the Beacon Foundation, (Beacon Hospital), who accepted and managed the financial donation of €96,000.00 on our behalf and who, with Mr. Niall Sinnott, managed the raising of purchase orders, submitted invoices and delivered payment to Samsung on behalf of the iPad For Palliative Care in Nursing Homes Initiative. Our thanks to Mr Michael Cullen, CEO, Mr Daragh Kavanagh, CFO, Dr Jennifer Westrup, Chairperson, Beacon Foundation, and Mr Paul Walshe, Finance Department, Beacon Hospital.
Through anonymous donors, a total of €96,000 was donated directly to The Beacon Foundation, for the sole purpose of purchasing tablets for the initiative. This sum secured the purchase of 459 Samsung Tablets in total.
The initiative was very successful. All tablets bought with the €96,000 donation were distributed successfully to nursing homes around Ireland. This along with the 228 tablets and iPads distributed prior to partnering with the Venture Capitalists, and Niall and the other donors, brings a grand total of 686 tablets distributed as part of the initiative.
We have received a huge number of letters, phone calls and emails of thanks from so many nursing homes sharing with us their joy and gratitude for the donated devices. We have been sent photos of many residents using the tablets to enjoy milestone birthdays, connect with friends and family near and far, and even enjoy the odd game of chess or other games with residents in the next room who are isolating due to Covid.
We have no doubt that this initiative has made a positive and lasting difference to the quality of the lives of the residents and we are still overwhelmed and grateful for the support of the donors and supporters of this simple family initiative.