OCCUPATIONAL Therapists play a vital role in transforming lives of elderly patients. That was the key message from Health Minister Michelle O’Neill as she officially opened the new Occupational Therapy department at Our Lady’s Care Home on the Falls Road.

The care home has good links with the local community and will deliver nursing care to elderly patients, patients with dementia and people with a physical disability.

Speaking at the opening, the Minister said: “I welcome the opportunity to be here today opening this new facility which will undoubtedly help Occupational Therapists (OTs) enhance the lives of residents and the quality of their care through a person-centred approach to inter-professional care delivery. The development of this Occupational Therapy department at Our Lady’s will ensure that these residents will be able to access evidence-based programmes of assessment to maximise their independence and recovery.

“This is in line with the recommendations in my Department’s nursing home standards which emphasise the importance of daily personalised routine.”

Our Lady’s CEO, Gavin O’Hare-Connolly, said: “I am most delighted to have had the Minister attend Our Lady’s Care Home for the official opening of our Occupational Therapy Department, a first of its kind in the north of Ireland.

“It is my personal vision that the independent care home sector take note of the importance of a recovery and enablement ethos in healthcare provision for our client group and encourage our residents to foster a true sense of independence, choice and self-worth in the care home. This requires dedicated input and investment from all professional disciplines and key stakeholders to enrich the lives of our most experienced citizens.

“I wish to formally thank Minister O’Neill for her most proactive approach to this new development and her focus on elderly healthcare provision.”