Pictured L2R are Enda Murphy, Psychotherapist & speaker, Limerick lady, Norma Rohan, George Graham, Ballyoughter, Gorey with Brian Rohan, founder Embrace Farm and John McNamara, Teagasc Health & Safety specialist. Photos by Roger Jones. No reproduction Fee. Tel: 086. 805 0393
Living Your New Normal – Building Resources to continue your farming life after an accident.
Embrace FARM, farm accident support network, in conjunction with the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire held its first joint information day to support people that have survived an accident and want to adjust their life so they can keep farming.
The objective of the day was to highlight to accident survivors what organisations and businesses are out there to help them. Showcase to the wider community what issues people face following an accident with their health and wellbeing and finally identify opportunities for farmers to interact with companies and organisations that can help them physically, mentally and emotionally adapt to life following their accident.
With over 100 people in attendance at the event, which was held at the Hub, Kilkenny, it attracted people from all over the country to come. Support organisations such as Headway (Acquired Brain Injury), Samaritans, Awareness Head to Toe, Citizens Information, APOS, Pieta House, IACP, Teagasc, IFA, ICSA, ICMSA, FBD, Coloplast, Wheelchair Cars Ireland, Irish Wheelchair Association, Southeast Mobility Driving, National Learning Network, and Employability gave their time and expertise to be present on the day to help all in attendance.
With adaptations from Mobility Tractor Steps, Third Arm, Pat O’Donnell Plant Hire and more, there was a both a practical showcase of machinery and cars as well as the softer supports a person requires to rehabilitate after an accident.
Speakers on the day came from both a national and international perspective. Bill Fields from Perdue University, Indiana, USA and Agrability, a programme ‘that provides assistance to farmers, other agricultural workers and family farm members impacted by disability’ spoke on the number of people they assist through training networking and other special events. Enda Murphy, author of ‘Five Steps to Happiness’ and psychotherapist spoke about the impact of trauma on our lives, how this can be recognised and awareness for those around us.
People had the opportunity to speak openly with one another and directly to the support organisations in attendance. It was highlighted from one of the attendees that ‘help on the farm so that (we) could forget about it in those first weeks/months’ was all important to a person after an accident. Another attendee mentioned the most benefit they received from the day was ‘being able to talk about it to people who have experienced it’ i.e. surviving an accident. For others it was something practical when asked what most benefited them in attending was ‘seeing an easier way to access a tractor’.
For the support organisations in attendance they felt it was a ‘great opportunity to get our message out to offer support’ for the farming communities. It was also felt that ‘attending this event was well worthwhile in regard to networking and hearing the individual human experiences in particular’ when listening to the panel discussion held at the beginning of the day. Claire McCormack from Agriland chaired an in-depth discussion with farm accident survivors Gabriel Cronnelly, Leas-Chathaoirleach, Galway Co. Council and Peter Gohery a Galway farmer sharing their stories of their accidents and the impact this has had on their lives and relationships with their loved ones. Dr Maeve Nolan from the National Rehabilitation Hospital spoke from her perspective with the patients they receive through their doors annually having survived such serious accidents.
It is hoped that this day will continue with conversations to help farm accident survivors in a greater practical sense between all those who attended and kindly helped make this day happen.
Pictured L2R are the moderator Claire McCormack, Agriland, Gabriel Cronnelly, Athenry, Leas-Chathaoirleach, Galway Co. Council with Peter Gohery, Director Embrace Farm and Dr Maeve Nolan, National Rehabilitation Hospital.