The pain of being separated from Mum
A window and COVID-19 separates Liz Bulley and her family from their dear Mum Colleen.
The mother-of-six went into residential aged care in January and the home went into lockdown on March 24.
At the time her Mum needs her most, a distraught Liz cannot be there.
“I think about all the things she has done for us” Liz said.
“When we have had our difficulties Mum was always the first one there.
“This is the most difficult time of her life. Mum is at her most vulnerable and we cannot be there.
“I feel I’ve really let her down.”
It is particularly tough for the family because their Mum cannot phone them without assistance.
Colleen recently got a hearing aid so she has to rely on staff to manage the device and connect it to her mobile phone so the family can call her.
Not being able to visit or talk to Mum is distressing for Liz, a mother-of-two who works at the Holy Trinity Early Learning Centre in Curtin.
Colleen, whose husband died of a heart attack in 1991, had been living independently in Woden since 2016.
But she has Parkinson’s disease and following a hospital admission last August the Parkinson’s rapidly progressed.
Since Colleen entered the aged care home, not a day has passed without one of her children visiting her. Then visits were restricted and finally the home went into lockdown.
“Dementia has progressed and Mum gets confused but we have been a constant for her,” Liz explained. “Suddenly we are not there anymore.
“We have done everything we can and Mum is where she needs to be.
“I understand the focus on preventing coronavirus but I am more concerned about Mum’s well-being.
“Family is everything and it’s all Mum has got. If she was comfortable and surrounded by her family everything would be okay.
“But she is solitary and communicating with her is not easy – it’s challenging but we’ll find a way.”