Employee Spotlight | Winnie Grennan

Introducing Winnie Grennan.

Activities coordinator for Marian House Ballindine.

Winnie joined our team four years ago after working as a special needs assistant previously.

You can tell there is something really special and endearing about Winnie when you meet her! The 500 families using our services rely heavily on Winnie to unlock a little piece of their minds and connect clients in a positive way.

Marian Navin our director of nursing speaks glowingly about Winnie, she describes her as a “dedicated, warm person who has a special gift connecting so well with our clients.”

Butterfly wall art in Marian House.

Winnie, in her role, first gains their trust by chatting about days gone by, takes them on walks, she finds out their previous interests and professions and then builds personalised activities around this information. As we always take a client based approach she then intervenes helpfully if needed day to day and she has been known to reach deep in the person unlocking lost warm memories known in the dementia world as butterfly moments !

Winnie is constantly looking for ways to reach people in order to improve their quality of life. She is always open to new ideas as we strive in Western Alzheimers to be the best dementia based facility as we have been leaders after opening the first facility in Ireland in 1994.

To be an effective caregiver you need to adapt your approach to suit the person living with dementia. When I meet her it is obvious that she is a natural-she uses her initiative and as well as being creative and humorous she has great insight and uses these talents to build strong relationships leading clients to be more independent and happier in themselves.

The hardest part of Winnies job is the same for the families -having to surrender and let go bit by bit as the persons condition gradually advances. Everyone in Western Alzheimers treasure the clients (as we consider them our own) and we are often as heartbroken as the families when we lose people every year to full time care or when they pass on.

Winnie is so proud of the people of Mayo and how we acknowledged the need for sharing the care in a home from home facility like Marian House and how we evolved to become leaders in this specialized dementia care. It is her dream to see a dementia villiage in Balindine so service users can live the lives as members of the community in the comfort they so deserve and enable them to make there own decisions in a safe environment, she would love more people to share the care.

“We would love more people to visit the Marian House for activities such as animal and music therapy, yoga, meditation or some musicans to hold little concerts”, as she sees the joy it brings to our residents and day care users. “We are always stretched for budgets and would love to be able to do more activities.

Winnie especially notices the immense pleasure small children bring to clients “lifting the spirits of everyone in our sitting room when visiting granny or grandad we would love to do a pre- school visit and hold a little concert or just chat with some young people.”

Winnie Grennan is a resilient, diligent, hard working and inspiring employee and we are very lucky to have her in Marian House.

She hopes Mayo will lift Sam Maguire this year, she looks forward to our new extension opening and she would love to do more activities with our clients.

If you would like to sponsor an activity or visit and do an activity in Marian House please contact: Dee 086 3494720 or deirdrewalsh@westernalzheimers.ie

Or if you would like to become a voluteer sign up below

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