Palace of Care – Race Against Time

Photo by Shirly Niv Marton on Unsplash

I gently knocked on the door and then poked my head around the corner. I paused briefly before walking in and saw him sitting there holding his wife’s hand. He bent down and talked gently into her ear. They had only been married for 62 years, and had been together as a couple much longer. She had looked after him well according to his daughter, he had always been treated like a king. In recent years Dementia had meant that he had needed more care than ever. His queen kept him in line but as her health deteriorated she could not keep up with him.

She had lived with her daughter, son-in-law and had practically raised their children. The grandchildren were emotionally close to her and had spent six to eight weeks with her over the Christmas break before heading back to their overseas-based lives. Since her cancer diagnosis seven months ago, she had been cared for by her youngest daughter. She had to keep a close eye on her husband, as he was a flight risk. At times he didn’t even recognise her as she had recently lost a lot of weight. He would ask, “Who is the nice old lady?” With a few prompts he could be reorientated to the love of his life.

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Palace of Care – Two of a kind

Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash

He was never alone when he was young, his sister would always be with him. They started off their friendship in the womb but didn’t really see each other for the first time until they came out into the light. Ah, that’s what you look like, quite similar to me, but different. I’m the oldest out of us two, even if it is only five minutes between us. The eldest is entitled to greater respect. Their siblings suddenly had two more siblings to make up the family, a little boy and a little girl.

They went to the same schools all the way through primary, intermediate and high schools, and it was only in university that their paths diverged. Ending up in different careers and then meeting their partners, always maintaining the bond of their twin-ship even across thousands of miles of ocean. The next generation would also have multiple births, he and his wife had a set of twins but unfortunately their little youngest did not survive. One of their biggest tragedies, the death of a child, so against the natural order of life. Life had to move on, they had the rest of their children to bring up. Life was busy with work, family was always emphasised as being the most important.

Children grow up so fast, and theirs became useful additions to society, good people that he had guided to adulthood. He was proud of them all, and then the grandchildren arrived to make a good life even better. Lovely young kids that enjoyed hanging out with Grandpa and Grandma, also lovely that at the end of the day they could be given back to their parents. Grandparents are there to provide good fun, but not to be the unpaid caregivers was their policy. It had worked so far. Their overseas daughter video-called them, they hadn’t seen her in person due to the effects of Covid over the past two years. She couldn’t contain her smile, she glowed when they talked to her. “Mum, dad I’m pregnant, it’s going to be twins!” Continuing the family tradition into the next generation. Things were really good.

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I think therefore I am? – International Journal of Whole Person Care – COVID-19 special issue

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

To read real stories of courageous healthcare professionals from 6 countries risking their own lives to save ours during the COVID-19 pandemic click here.

University of Melbourne survey for frontline health professionals on the impact of COVID

STUDY PURPOSE

This survey explores the important social, occupational and mental health effects experienced by frontline health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. As the pandemic has changed our social and work environments in many different ways, we want to hear the experiences of both frontline health workers who have and have not worked directly with people with COVID-19.

We will examine factors that promote good mental health and wellbeing, as well as risk factors for poorer mental health. Your input will inform recommendations to healthcare organisations and other professional bodies.

https://covid-19-frontline.com.au/

WE WANT YOU

This study focuses on the experiences of medical, nursing, allied health, clinical scientists/physiologists/technicians, healthcare students and clerical staff who are working in the following frontline areas:

  • Anaesthetics/Peri-operative Care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Hospital Aged Care
  • Infectious Disease
  • Intensive Care
  • Infectious Disease
  • Palliative Care
  • Paramedicine
  • Primary Care
  • Respiratory Medicine

People working in other frontline health areas (such as medical or surgical areas) are also welcome to take part.

You do not need to have worked directly with people with COVID-19 to participate, as we would like to hear from all frontline health workers.