Posted in ABC News, Australia, Care Homes, Coronavirus, dementia, Family, Father, Giselle Wakatama, Mother

A Recipe for Abuse


I was watching 7.30 last night on ABC and was struck by what Leigh Sales was saying about Care Homes not allowing visitors. As my friends know only too well that is simply a recipe for neglect and abuse. 

I have personal experience of this as my dad and my two friend’s mum’s were highlighted on ABC news in 2017 with Giselle Wakatama of ABC Newcastle. This was because of a severe lack of care. While we were there everyone who worked in this particular carehome showed loving concern to our parent. However the signs of neglect were too obvious to ignore. We reported it to the Aged Health Care Commission and in my case was told “ you cannot control everything”. Unbelievable, if we daughters had not our parents would have suffered even more. 

This is why I am concerned now. There are going to be no inspections. The Chaplains who used to go in cannot now. No volunteers either. The people are at the mercy of the system. And the demented are in an even worse position because so much of their care is provided by their loved ones or by extra care workers paid for by the families…who are not allowed in either. 

I understand that this virus is now expected to be shared by simply breathing. So it would be very hard unless visitors do an online course on this virus on how to help and how to protect themselves, their families and the person they are visiting. My thought is that the government should appoint people to “police” these places where our fragile precious beloved ones live. 


Posted in 90% Rule, Australia, Bereavement, Coronavirus, Covid 19, Family, Father, Flattening The Curve, Food Parcels, Mother, Physical Distancing, Self Isolation, Son, Toilet Paper

The Great Pause

Since I last wrote so much has changed in Australia, and the world. Here we have different updates daily about businesses and rentals and mortgages. People at Centrelink queueing around the block and then some more, while physical distancing. About flattening the curve, making sure 90% of people stay at home if not needed for vital work. 

I personally have taken to physical distancing and self isolation due to my age and co morbidities. I do not want doctors to have to face the non choice of giving a respirator to a younger healthier person. It is too much for them to have to bear. We have seen videos from Italy and the US where doctors are using iPads to assist people to say goodbye to their families. As they have so rightly stressed, with Covid_19 you die alone. Though with caring health workers by your side. But how horrid for them to see that, repeatedly. I am determined to do my part and most of Australia seems to be complying with these restrictions. Now anyway. 

We find ways to fill our very long days. The month of March has seemed endless to me. Perhaps because I am bereaved, my father passed late February and after seven long difficult years of looking after dad and one brilliant year of looking after mum before she passed in  2014 I was looking forward to moving and starting a new life. One without too many responsibilities, but now we know that we have a responsibly to our communities and our neighbours. 

This week our outdoor gatherings have been restricted to two persons. I am allowed to go out with my son who is my Carer for a walk to exercise and get blessed fresh air. These guidelines for the disabled and elderly are guidelines not edicts but it is best practise to protect our health system so most in this group are all for it.

My home is cleaner than it ever has been before. I am going to be getting rid of a lot of stunning clothing and bed linen via eBay and generally downsizing ahead of a move when it is possible. Gardening is allowed as exercise so I am wanting to get the garden simplified so my son can cope with it when I move out. He is going to be buying this cabin and we will be possibly making it more like a studio than a small two bedroom. 

I have started reading paper books again and am about to start knitting some lovely scarves as well as making a huge upholstery quilt I have had on hold since 2014. People are buying jigsaw puzzles including our prime minister Scott Morrison. I will be doing some online, my hands have nerve damage so if I used normal jigsaws I would lose more pieces than I place! Words With Friends is vitally important to keep in touch with fellow players and Facebook has been a wonderful tool to feel connected to the rest of the world. 

We still have not found any toilet paper but will soon be having a Basic Food package delivered fortnightly from Woolworths as we are both unwell and as I am unable to shop it is putting a lot of pressure on my son. To access this one simply go to Woolworths online. Our Woolworths is becoming a hub for this locally.

We all share a common thread, our humanity. We love our families and our friends and want to ensure the health system is there if they need it. During this Great Pause our connectedness is not lost by our isolation, it is redeemed by it. 

Posted in Australia, China, Coronavirus, Covid 19, dementia, Family, Father, Mother, Son, Sydney University

Grief in the Age of Covid 19

My father passed away five weeks ago today. I was going to have this blog as a memoir of his Life before Vascular Dementia and of my mum’s before Alzheimer’s. A way to help process my grief.

And then along came Coronavirus. Of course I had seen it on ABC news back in November but we were very caught up in our national bushfire disaster. The citizens of NSW and Victoria had a hugely emotional response to it and so did our other states. Soon the world tuned into our plight. To our koalas and kangaroos and to the near billion animals that had been incinerated.

While we choked on the thick smoke, actually tasting some of the incinerated wildlife, life went on for the rest of us. But it diverted attention away from a gathering disaster in China. While the world donated money and children worldwide knitted or sewed mittens and blankets for our rescued burned wildlife, life in Wuhan China was slowly changing. People were becoming ill.