No doubt, we will never forget the year 2020; the year a global pandemic ruled the world, inevitably changing the trajectory of everybody’s lives. For Perth photographer Shirley Melville it meant following a new life as a carer. When we asked her why, she summed it up in one word: love.
When the pandemic hit — although it was the beginning something unprecedented, it was an opportunity to reflect on the most important aspects of our lives.
“When COVID hit, it certainly was a time for reflection,” Melville said.
She reflected on a visit to Alzheimer’s WA Mary Chester House, a respite facility helping families and carers who care for those with dementia. The atmosphere felt alive and happy. It didn’t feel like other facilities, the larger ones she’d noticed, which were being pushed to the limit. COVID-19 was just another restriction and it highlighted the urgency for more support workers and a general attitude change in the industry.
“COVID put everything into sharp focus, certainly for aged care facilities,” Melville said.
She decided she wanted to be a part of the positive side to aged care, to help people on their dementia journeys — especially with elders being amongst the most vulnerable age group in this unprecedented time. This led her to complete her Certificate III in Individual Support at Alzheimer’s WA.