Home Instead Limerick boss discusses Covid and societal attitudes

Owner and managing director of Home Instead Senior Care says he becomes “very vexed” when he sees certain members of society complaining about lockdown conditions.

Liam Toland is the owner Home Instead Senior Care, an in-home care service to vulnerable people in the community across Clare and Limerick.

Mr. Toland said: “Both of my parents are in their 80’s and their life has completely stopped, and they are also very vulnerable. So, I become very vexed when I see certain parts of the population, who are saying “Oh, my life is changing.”

He added “Yes, there’s an inconvenience around a lot of this, and then there is a mental health aspect to it clearly, but for the likes of my parents I’m thinking ‘hang on a second, we need to make sure they have an opportunity to continue to live through this.’

When asked about the morale of his service users and the toll this pandemic is having on their mental health, Mr Toland said “Successful aging is built on three pillars; high mental and physical functionality, low risk of disease and engagement in life.

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 -
Help: Toland says the HSE have been a “good help” to him during the Covid pandemic

“It’s the engagement in life piece that’s most at risk during Covid.”

Discussing individual attitudes target towards the elderly, he said “Sometimes the older adult can be seen as a bed blocker. They say the reason the hospitals are all bunged up is because some senior person is in a bed.

“You have to say hold on a second, is that a negative or is it a positive because if you have a 90-year-old in a bed who has lived to 90, is that not something as a society we should be really proud of.”

Since March the government and HSE have come under scrutiny for their management of various aspects of the pandemic.

Mr. Toland stated he was receiving support, and all parties were doing the best they could in the current situation.

He said, “You can find fault in anything but the HSE have been a good help to me. We need to not absolve ourselves of group responsibility as citizens.”

He added, “The mass media is rapid to find fault in policy that was never designed to be perfect in the first place. The more we try nit-pick and find fault, the more we reduce the credibility of the core message, which is – hand hygiene, raspatory hygiene and downloading of the app.”

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