Mildura Weekly : Friday August 14 Vol 9 No 40
12 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015 THEY are among the unsung heroes of our community, people who put their lives on ‘hold’ to care for a loved one in times of prolonged ill health. They are the carer, and nowhere is their love, dedica- tion and devotion to the role felt more than in the world of Parkinson’s Disease sufferers. Now the community has an opportunity to recognise the vital behind-the-scenes role of the carer by joining the Sunday, August 30 Mildu- ra Slow Walk for Parkinson’s, as part of National Parkin- son’s Awareness Week. Cheryl Barnes from the Mildura Parkinson’s support group is urging a strong roll-up. “This is the chance to stand up and be counted,” she said. “This is a chance to say ‘Parkinson’s is a condition that deserves more public attention, and that people living with Par- kinson’s are not alone.’” Cheryl believes it is particularly important to recognise the role of the many carers who support a loved one, often under trying conditions. “A carer has many roles,” she said. “You need an un- derstanding of some of the special difficulties associated with the medical problems of the person with whom you are dealing, and you need to be educated about the symp- toms of that medical prob- lem. You have to learn when to help, and when not to.” Cheryl said being a sup- port person meant being a nurse, cook, cleaner, problem solver and diplomat. Carers have to have stamina and pa- tience and above all, under- standing. She gives the example of ‘Susan’ (not her real name) who says caring for a Par- kinson’s Disease sufferer is unpredictable, a role that re- quires infinite patience and flexibility, and one that virtu- ally puts your life ‘on hold.’ “It is a 24/7 role,” ‘Susan’ said. “Providing the required care often leads to isolation, and a feeling of loss. The carer at times is not willing to share a person’s feelings of despair, anxiety and sadness with others, due to feelings of failure to provide proper care. “Communication be- tween the patient and the carer become less as the pa- tient gets frustrated at not being able to communicate as they once could. Normal living patterns change, and carers at times have to cope with a huge amount of emo- tional strain, negative emo- tions, anxiety, psychosis, sleep disturbance, delusions and agitation, which is diffi- cult to manage. “Patients have regular falls that can result in injury. Sometimes a patient can’t get themselves up off the floor, and a carer can have great difficulty in helping them. And if a patient is placed in full-time care, the carer can have strong feelings of guilt over not being able to pro- vide suitable care.” Cheryl says that’s why it is so important for the com- munity to recognise the sup- port role that carers play. “I have to admire them all,” she says. “The ones I meet are always positive, show great patience and under- standing, and always seem to have a smile on their face. Cheryl said always put- ting someone else first takes a toll on the carer, with frus- tration, depression, sleep disturbance among the many personal sacrifices made. “Love and support from family and friends is very important, and that’s what this walk is all about,” she said. “Carers need support. They need encourage- ment, need to be listened to, they need to have the support of health agencies, and above all, they need to be recognised for the vital role they play. “That’s why I urge people to support the walk. Talk to the carers, spend some time with them, ask them how they are coping, give them a hug to show you care...just to let them know they are not alone.” The muster for the 2.5km walk will begin at Henderson Park, Mildura, from 9.30am on Sunday, August 30. • FOOTNOTE; Parkinson’s disease is a progressive dis- order of the brain, affect- ing body movements. Main symptoms are tremors, muscle stiffness and slow movement. An estimated 80,000 Australians have the disease (6.3 million world- wide) with 30 more Austral- ians diagnosed every day. Cheryl said she would welcome inquiries or ques- tions 50 212925. Sunday, August 30, Henderson Park, Mildura – it’s more than just a walk in the park, as the Mildura Weekly’s ALAN ERSKINE explains. It’s all about... Showing carers that we care! • WALKING THE TALK: All set for Sunday, August 30’s Slow Walk for Parkinson’s are, left to right, Cheryl Barnes, John Parker, Cynthia Parker and Mary Olsen. Breakfast on the riverfront JAYCEE Park will be the venue for the popular Sunraysia Farmers Market tomorrow from 8am. Included will be a vast array of fresh vegeta- bles, fruits, conserves, dried fruits, oils, preserves, plants, honey, flowers, nuts, baked goods, flour and meats. Breakfast using fresh produce will also be available. More information is available by contacting 0439 252 342 or by visiting www.sunraysiafarm- ersmarket.com.au. Holden Sunday Show and Shine THE Lime Avenue Show and Shine will be held this Sunday at Auto- pro from 10am to midday. This month’s vehicles will be the HQ, HJ, HX, HZ and WB Holdens. More information is available by contacting 5022 0055. Hear well-known Australian author Isobelle Carmody speak at the Mildura Library. Isobelle started working on her first novel Obernewtyn while she was still in high school and has been writing ever since. An award-winning author, Isobelle is at the forefront of fantasy writing in Australia. More information and tickets: Phone (03) 5018 8350 www.mildura.vic.gov.au/library FREE AUTHOR EVENT Isobelle Carmody at the Mildura Library Thursday 20 August 2015 7:30pm – 8:30pm Northern Hire is located in Mildura and Ouyen and services a diverse range of clients including Government departments, civil and mining contractors and private customers. Our fl eet of earthmoving equipment is available on dry hire, with the hirer supplying operator, fuel and daily pre starts. Northern Hire gives clients the ability to have short, long and permanent hire with full back up service by our qualified staff. To facilitate on time delivery of plant, Northern Hire have a number of staff available to deliver machinery to sites effi ciently, economically and - most importantly - on time. 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