Hill Top Residential home, overlooking the beautiful
Hillsborough harbour with distant views of Union Island.
Run by Mrs Lyvon Phillips a Social Worker who for the last two
years has done a wonderful job as 'nurse in charge' while Hill Top
seeks a Matron.
Located next to the local Roman Catholic church with the future
Matron's residence between the two buildings
Here I found 16 aged Kayaks, all clean, smiling and well cared for
a credit to the overworked, underpaid care workers.
This residential home is home to one of the greatest Big Drum dancers
known in the history of Carriacou.
The encounter was made more profound because I had only an hour
before left a meeting with Mr Winston Flairy, the top Big Drum Cultural
Ambassadors, who had shown me a excellent collection of old photos
of the history of this ancient art and custom.
I had witnessed this same woman and the fire in her eyes as she
danced at age 80 to the drum of the 'Old woman dance'
I looked into the eyes of this same old woman, now crippled and
worn and I say the spirit of Big Drum burning back at me, alive
I told her we would return with help, she smiled.
The old fashion 'Florence Nightingale' ward style sleeping accommodation
reminded me of my training hospital in Farnborough, Kent some 30 years
ago. Except here there was no way to protect privacy and no screens
to maintain dignity. Urgent help is needed here to assist this band
of hard working nurses.
The communal lounge area was clean and welcoming, but the furnishings
were well worn and in need of refurbishment.
The chairs were damaged and hard and put the residence at risk,
of the 16 only 6 were residential the remaining 10 were nursing home
category. 2 had amputees, 4 were severely demented, 5 incontinent,
the home is in urgent need of incontinent pads, Kylie sheets and over
mattresses. The luxury of a ripple mattress was something they only
dreamed about. Miraculously only 2 residence had pressure sores, which
under the circumstance was a credit to the care staff and the supervision
of the acting Matron.
The male wing was depressingly in need of a paint lift
and the furnishings were old and drab. But the old men smiled with
me and shook my hand. I tried to explain I would try and get help.
Mrs Phillips showed me the totally inadequate cooking facilities,
which although small was clean and well scrubbed.
Someone had donated a cow, and beef was in various stages of preparation.
The nurses station with rotting floor boards and totally inadequate
equipment was in need of restocking.
The laundry area seemed totally inadequate, but the residence
were all dressed in clean summer frocks and I marveled at how they
managed to get from one day to another.
This home is in desperate need of very basic equipment, wheel
chairs, sani chairs, commodes, all forms of incontinent aids and
pressure relieving aids. There is no lifting equipment in house
and cares have to second as cleaners and cooks.
Congratulations, when I left the home, having owned my own nursing
home in the UK for 15 years I tipped my hat to my colleagues and
was proud to be a nurse.
Hill top is seeking sponsorship of EC $2,000 per month to employ
a trained Matron to help Mrs Phillips the Social Worker I interviewed.
Accommodation is available on site and a nice clean modest two bedroom
home is waiting for that person.
As the past Matron of The Gables Nursing Home in Westbourne, Bournemouth
in Dorset England I am appealing to my past colleagues to make contact
if there is anything they can do to help this delightful home that
has faced challenges before Ivan and now must wait patiently for help
from damaged Grenada
This was a totally unannounced visit and once again I want to give credit
to the staff of this home. Well done, keep up the good work.