To mark Social Justice Sunday (30 August) and the release of Australian Catholic Bishops' social justice statement, VMCH will be sharing the experiences of staff who support the mental health and wellbeing of VMCH clients, including residents in aged care, a person with a disability, or carers looking after a loved one.
This week we hear about the experiences of Maria Carnovale, one of their 16 Pastoral Care Practitioners, who has been supporting aged care residents, their families and staff during this challenging time. Maria supports residents, their loved ones and our staff at Providence Aged Care Residence in Bacchus Marsh, and has witnessed many people struggling with mental health, particularly during this second wave.
Residents are missing their families and are concerned for their families. residents with a diagnosis of dementia, while not able to articulate, are sensing there is something not quite right. It has been particularly difficult for our new residents who have moved into aged care. Staff have been wonderful and are compassionate in their care. The In-Touch program is helping to keep families connected with video calls which is the next best thing.
They are missing seeing their loved ones. There is also the heartbreaking news of COVID19 entering aged care facilities, which has family and carers very worried. Many family members have commented that receiving frequent communication which keeps them updated has been of consolation.
We are incredibly blessed to have wonderful staff at Providence who are dedicated and put the residents first. Of course, they are worried about their own families and worried about our residents. Some of our staff have family overseas and that is very difficult for them.