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, January 23, 2008

I have Work!

Yes, the tide has finally turned in my favour. Slowly, but that's okay by me. A company who is new to the Care-giver market here interviewed me in late December, but didn't sign me up until mid January. They don't have any regular work for me in the area I want to work in (close to home), so I have started out 'on call', filling in for carers who are ill or on holidays.

Yesterday and today I spent three hours in a highlevel aged care facility 12 km from home (15 mins drive) which suited me well. I was assigned to be a companion to a lady for the three hours each day, spoon-feeding her morning tea and lunch, taking her for a stroll in the garden in her wheelchair, and just being there for her. As she has advanced dementia, of course she doesn't relate to me on a personal level, but it is enough to talk to her, hold her hand and give her a hug now and then. This is rewarded by a smile, and a look which indicates that she is aware of my presence and is happy about it.

The sad side of this work is seeing the other residents in the home. I've done this work before many times, but my eyes still fill with tears when I see old men sitting in a chair with glazed expressions, getting up and wandering around aimlessly, then sink to the floor and lie there, staring into space. As long as they haven't injured themselves, the staff leave them where they are, because if you disturb them they are likely to struggle and injure themselves and/or the carers. I wonder about these people - they possibly fought in WW2, saw and experienced things that our generation will never see. Even if they weren't in the Armed Forces, they are of the generation that helped to make our country what it is today. To see them on the scrap heap of life just breaks my heart. Whatever you are doing on Australia Day, spare a thought for those forgotten souls.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! How totally and utterly horrible. The thought of anyone just left to dither away is upsetting enough. You are amazing Gina. I too wuold cry at the thought... let alone the image... let alone the reality staring you bluntly in the face. I swore that I would take in and care for any of the elderly in my family... though since most have passed... this means just my dear Grandmother these days. I could'nt even begin to think about her sitting all alone in some home or the like... No way!

Congratulations on your emplyment success. You have found your feet... as always... and onwards and upwards you go. I wish you every piece of success Gina.


Thursday, 24 January, 2008  
Blogger Maggie Ann said...

That must be heartbreaking to see. What an angel you are to them, I'm sure.

Thursday, 24 January, 2008  
Blogger lindsaylobe said...

Congratulations Gina on obtaining this position!

Remarkably the very least effected faculty for dementia affected residents is music, noticeable in the recognition and joyful reaction seen in presentations to them.

Best wishes

Thursday, 24 January, 2008  
Blogger Alice said...

What a good person you are, Gina. Your compassion for others is huge. I am very sorry for the elderly who are no longer able to care for themselves or even be part of the world around them. Fortunately those where you work have a safe place to be cared after.

I hope you find working to be just the thing. I know you were eager to get back to it in spite of enjoying your home time too.

Friday, 25 January, 2008  
Blogger Home Away from Home. said...

Hi Gina,
I'm so happy you found work and close to home. :) I understand your feelings as when I go to see my dad in the nursing home, I see those things too. I usually sit in the car and cry. We seem to live in world where people just don't seem to care anymore. I try not to let it get to me and I think of plus things in my life. Like having a friend out there in cyberland. Good luck with the new job and hope you have lots of happy times.

Sunday, 27 January, 2008  
Blogger Miss Eagle said...

Gina - you amaze me how well you take to this very sad and trying work. You must be a blessing to those you care for. I hope there is someone like you to look after you and look after me should we be in a similar situation.

Blessings and bliss

Sunday, 27 January, 2008  

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