Gloria Muir has one of those laughs that kind of makes you chuckle from the other end of the phone regardless of what she is saying; it’s unvarnished and ironically comments on the struggles her life has unexpectedly dished up.
Almost 17 years ago Gloria was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), “I was always falling over and didn’t know why until I was diagnosed with NF2.” Now, after several surgeries and living with 12 different tumours in her spine, brain, and ear, Gloria has to be concerned about falling on a regular basis. “I’m a high falls risk, the tumours cause me to have no balance sometimes which confuses people because I still look so young.”
At 75 years old, living with NF2 and on her own, Gloria isn’t slowing down. With excitement, she discusses her previous phone call; the closeness of landing a grant for a book she has written about regional New South Wales. “My late husband and I were considering buying a property in Scone years ago and that’s what got me so fascinated with the area, plus I was a librarian so I have a love for books and history.”
Gloria is also heavily into her gardening “I grow lemons, kale, parsley, basil—the pesto I make is just lovely and growing your own is cheap too! I can’t bend down to pick them so I have had them growing in aluminium containers on crates; easier for me to reach.” And, while Gloria remains jovial about her daily routines she pulls no punches about how important the Alliance Community support she receives is.
Three days per-week Gloria has Alliance’s Support Stars help with showering and general cleaning duties around the house. “Having my husband die really threw everything out. He would always do the little tasks, like fix things, but having the extra support around now just makes living alone much easier. Besides, I haven’t fallen since I have had Alliance Community coming into my home—they’re so professional.”
Despite regularly having friends come to visit, Gloria says that the consistent social interaction she has with her Support Stars is important. “If you’re having a bad day it’s just nice to have someone come in and say ‘hello.’ And, I have had the same two people giving me care for the last two years, so they are more like friends—friends who are willing to do all the difficult housework I cannot afford to do myself.”
If you, like Gloria, need temporary assistance with showering and household duties, or perhaps you have a loved one who needs long-term assistance, or around-the-clock support, Alliance Community can help. We offer a range of services from respite support, high and complex support services, to development of life skills, travel and transport, companionship, and meal preparation. If you would like to find out more about our services call and speak to one of our friendly team members on 1300 769 155 today.