The Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Sycamore Unit, Connolly Hospital is a specialist longstay unit for older people with dementia associated with severe behavioural and/or psychiatric symptoms, whose care cannot be provided at that time in an ordinary residential care setting. It is, therefore, both an older person’s facility and one that provides specialised mental health care.
Sycamore Unit provides an enhanced quality of life for the patients in terms of its bespoke and safe environment. Even for those who can no longer walk, it means that they have a lovely view to look out on. Not only do the patients enjoy it, but their families also enjoy being able to take their relatives to the garden.
Speaking at the opening, Minister McEntee said, “Each person’s experience of dementia is very unique. It depends on the type of dementia, other health conditions and the circle of care and supports which are available for the individual. If supported, many people can live well with dementia, and almost 63% of those living with the condition live in the community. However, this is not always possible and many people living with dementia find that their individual needs are best met in dedicated units such as the Sycamore Unit.
“The dementia-specific garden here in Connolly Hospital has been designed with the needs of the person with dementia to the forefront. It will provide an enhanced quality of life for patients in terms of its bespoke and safe environment. The garden has been designed in a way that also facilitates people who are no longer mobile to still enjoy the lovely views. The garden will be of benefit not just to the residents of the Unit but also their families and friends who come to visit and share a “quiet moment” away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital ward.”