Changing Roles

It used to be the case that you could never find Vera at home. She was always out helping ‘older people’, even though she was in her 70s.

Monday was ‘Meals on Wheels’ day, her rostered day to help prepare and then deliver meals. Tuesday she took communion from the local church to bed-confined Catholics living in an aged care home. She got to know these people and would always stay and chat with them as well. Wednesday she would babysit (play with!) her 3 yr old granddaughter. Thursday was ‘St Vincent de Paul’ day (or Vinnies as it is known) where she was on-call to deliver care parcels to people in urgent need. Sunday was church day and she’d pick up an older couple she got to know and drive them to and from mass. When she dropped them back home she often went in for a cup of tea and they chatted for a while. Bill was a gardener and often sent Vera home with vegetables from the garden.

It was a hard day when she finally had to stop driving because her eyesight was getting worse. Her bad knees meant she also had problems getting public transport. It impacted her life in many ways. She had to change her church to one she could walk to. She now spends much more time at home. An old work colleague, Monica, picks her up once a week to take her shopping. An old school friend of her daughter, who lives in the area, rings her up every couple of weeks to take her out for a strawberry smoothie. Vera and her sister Mary also phone each other every day, as they have always done. They used to swap magazines but that doesn’t happen so much now that Vera’s eyesight is worse.

(Photo by David Jackmonson)

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