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News from Mackay

11 May, 2022
Frank Doolan, Sister Pauline, and Des Crowe.

At our last dinner in April, Kevin our Chairman was on holidays so Des Crowe stepped up and welcomed everyone. He then led the Patrons prayer before giving a Reflection on our World.  How our world is now different from even a year ago, definitely to 3 years ago! Yet all that is happening with China and Russia was prophesied in the early 1900s at Fatima that Poland, Ukraine, and Russia all needed to repent and turn to God or there would be a world war – there was. Then a second and if we did not repent, a third world war. The world is not repentant nor getting better but worse. Fr Rod told us about Brazil’s tiny rural churches having thousands of Parishioners while Germany’s glorious cathedrals were empty. Today, Mackay has one mass per day to empty churches. Doctors report that 75% of GP visits are for depression and none turn to the church for God’s help! The trend is not good and not what was intended. Pray more.

Des recommended we google and watch   ‘Ukraine, Russia, Fatima – What is Heaven telling us?’

Graham Featherstone said Grace, and included the crisis in Ukraine and the homeless in the prayer. 

Our guest speaker was Sister Pauline of the St Francis of Assisi Home. Des introduced her by saying that caring for the aged was a mystery to him but God is so loving. He forgets our sins when we come to him. Sister Pauline has been a Mackay icon for over 30 years. 

She told us of My Aged Care a digital internet service that has many resources and tips on respite, handy jobs, etc. Please use the service was her advice. You can also phone in for an interview to get information on packages for aged health care. In Mackay, Ozcare, Centacare and Bluecare service the available packages. Right now the services are full but booking in is viable and involves an assessment that allows choice as to when a service is put into action. The best move is to get assessed now and activate it when ready. Respite care is a neat ‘try-before-you-buy’ option. Sister Pauline spoke of loneliness being a big killer of the elderly. Certainly, humans make mistakes but our nursing homes are very good for the elderly. The paperwork since the Royal Commission is overpowering as is the reality of Covid infections where just this week 6 staff all tested positive, scrabbling the roster. With God’s help though, the Home benefits greatly from having Sisters in the convent attached to the Home. “We are a big family,” said Sister Pauline. She then encouraged questions. 

Other Mackay Nursing Homes are part of a team network where they work together and support each other in providing care. Covid testing is a burden but the Mackay homes have fared well. Government supplies of P.P.E., goggles and gowns have been generous.

Options for choosing a Home are available through the Mater while at the Base Hospital patients are allocated to the next vacant placement. This can be outside of Mackay. Transfers back into a Home of Choice are possible. An advantage at St Francis of Assisi is the spiritual support.  Priests also visit.

On the question of money, the best position is to be poor and let 85% of the pension pay your way. After that, there are layers of complications, deposits, payments, contributions, income tests, and Centrelink. There are no self-contained units at St Francis, but there is accommodation for ‘Couples’.

Family Doctors are welcome and different doctors go to different homes. Two pharmacies are linked to each Home and Covid has greatly reduced activities and visitors. Non-vaccinated are not allowed in. 

Frank Doolan rose to give a vote of thanks to Sister Pauline for her information on nursing homes in Mackay. He considers himself a foundation member as he helped build the Home. He has known Sister Pauline for 29 years and considers her to be living out the prayer of his grandmother; wonderful compassion and fantastic service.  He presented her with a donation from the Dinner Club. 

Our next dinner is on Monday 30th May. 6.30 pm for 7 pm start at the City Bowls Club, Shakespeare Street.

Graham Featherstone