Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No paid work yet, and I'm back on my soap box.

I didn't get the job I applied for two weeks ago. A short letter arrived yesterday telling me my application was unsuccessful. Let's see now, why would that be? They were so keen to interview me, and said with my qualifications I'd be very welcome on their team. I figure it is (a) because of my health issues (I'm a bad risk because of my back) or (b) they think I would be a shit-stirrer (trouble-maker) if they upset my applecart like the Council did! So back to Centrelink, who have put me on to an employment agency who work with disabled people, or those who (like me) aren't actually disabled, but have a medical condition that prevents them from working full time, or working at the same kind of job they did previously.

In the meantime, I will continue my volunteer work at the Nillumbik Community Health Service. Today was my second time with the Planned Activity Group. Instead of going out, we collected the clients (about 17 of them) from their homes and brought them to the Centre, where lunch was provided, and activities including gentle exercise, singing, and craft. The craft today was painting silk scarves. Everyone was given a plain silk scarf and a paint brush, and special paints were provided so people could paint their own designs on the silk. Once they were finished, the scarves were laid out to dry a little before being ironed to 'set' the colour. They were then rinsed in cold water and laid out to dry again, ready to take home. Most of the people enjoyed doing this; it is a popular activity in aged care facilities apparently because they are actually creating something attractive that they can either wear or give away. Half a dozen clients declined to participate, and sat at the far end of the table quite happily, talking, reading or doing crossword puzzles.

On the way back to their homes in the bus, the driver asked if they wanted to go home, or would like to be driven around a bit longer (it was a lovely day). One gentleman said he'd love to be driven around longer, but a lady said she wanted to go home because her husband would be waiting for her to give him his afternoon tea. I jokingly said "Now why wouldn't he have afternoon tea prepared for you when you get home?" and she said gently "He has been blind for five years, dear. He never complains, and I like to do as much as I can for him". Do you ever want to shrink away to being a crumb on the floor? When I helped this lady off the bus and to her front door, she turned and gave me such a sweet smile. She said "Thank you very much for everything you've done today".

I could just cry with the injustice that has been done to people in this shire. Here is part of an item I've just posted on another blog:

Again I ask the question: why did Nillumbik Council replace an excellent service provided by Southern Cross with trained and qualified carers, to this company with a limited and largely untrained workforce?

My emails to state and federal government departments go unanswered. My emails to various Seniors lobby groups, magazines, papers, etc. also go unanswered. What is their agenda, if not being concerned for the care of elderly people in their own homes? I'm a member of one such association, and reading their glossy monthly magazine, one would assume that the vast majority of people over 50 in this country have access to unlimited funds and travel all over the world on a regular basis. There is never any articles in that magazine about the much older Seniors who are too frail and/or disabled to travel any further than their bank to collect their pension money. People who rely on Meals On Wheels to be delivered to their homes. People who do not have computers and can't pay bills online, or do Internet banking. People who don't have cars, and rely on paid and unpaid carers to do their shopping, or take them their banking. People who need help every day, simply having a shower and getting dressed.

Miss Eagle and I think there is a desperate need in this country for an advocacy group for these forgotten souls. Is there anyone reading this who would join us in lobbying for the rights of the aged people in the REAL world?

Sorry about that. I'll just crawl back into my cave now.


Blogger Merle said...

Hi Gina ~~ Well done trying to get some help for elderly citizens.
You look good on that soap box and I hope you get some results. Thanks for your message. Glad you enjoyed my post and so far the bottomless pit is
holding up. Take care, my friend, Love, Merle.

Thursday, 15 November, 2007  
Blogger Jeanette said...

Hi Gina, Stay on your soap box till you get results.Im sure the Elderly are very grateful for the joy you must bring into there lives,, take care hope something more permenant comes your way soon..

Friday, 16 November, 2007  

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