Sally Park concert

By Hayden Moore

RESIDENTS at the Sally Park Nursing Home, who have had no cases of Covid-19, were treated to an afternoon of classic hits after a voluntary musical group stopped by for a socially distanced gig.

The socially distanced gig was organised by staff at Sally Park, Niamh Masterson and Christlyn Palco, last Thursday.

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Residents of Sally Park Nursing Home enjoying the concert. 

And indeed, the Mobile Machine Concert dazzled their hearts and rocked their evening.

“A group of four musicians called the Mobile Machine Concert came around last week for our 43 residents - they’re a group who do voluntary gigs in nursing homes,” Niamh tells The Echo, who has worked at Sally Park Nursing Home for the past 13 years as an Activity Coordinator.

“It was great, they absolutely loved it because they played all the old hits and it was socially distanced so the band stood outside on the courtyard and we opened the big doors.

“Our residents where in our big dining room, where the doors are and they brought wine and nibbles.

“They haven’t been seeing their families because of Covid-19 so this cheered them up a bit.

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“Also, one of our residents Deirdre White was celebrating her birthday so the group sung Happy Birthday for her.”

A large number of nursing homes around the country have had several cases of Covid-19 diagnoses among their residents since the onset of the pandemic.

In the Knocklyon nursing home, they have managed to keep the disease at bay.

“We were celebrating a little bit last Thursday for the gig,” explains Niamh.

“We had a bottle of champagne and the staff made a toast because we haven’t had a case of Covid-19 here yet - knock on wood it stays that way.”

Director of nursing, Rosario Baldicantos, has established fortnightly testing for Covid-19 among the 50 staff members at Sally Park.

Despite their being zero cases in the nursing home, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt among the residents.

“It has been a tough few months for the staff of course but it’s been even tougher for the residents.

“They’re not even allowed window visits anymore because we can’t allow people on to the property even.

“We do video calls with their families every afternoon, but it’s not the same, some of them don’t really undertsand what is going on but at least they can hear their voices.

“They used to get mass every Tuesday, but that’s all stopped, so they watch it on the television now.”

Niamh, who is an Aylesbury native, was thrilled to see the community come together to show support for the residents and staff alike in Sally Park.

“The community have been very helpful, donating things to the residents and making masks,” she says.

“Cinelli’s takeway kept donating food for the staff as well.

“Our Lady’s College in Templeogue have been writing cards and sending them in to our residents.

“They’re just little messages about what’s going on in the world. It’s such a nice thing to do, we can’t thank them all enough.”

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