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Elaine’s Journey: How Bush Chaplains Make a Difference

Elaine’s Journey: How Bush Chaplains Make a Difference

Elaine’s Journey: How Bush Chaplains Make a Difference

Elaine loved the country atmosphere. Her dogs and the wide-open spaces filled her with joy and energized her soul. Living and loving life with her husband of 40 years on a 200,000-acre property was like a dream come true. Elaine often says living this life was like being in a bubble floating above the world. Her statement, “I treasure my existence every day,” truly encapsulates Elaine’s feelings about her life.

Elaine led an incredibly productive and active life. Her ambition to perfect the art of horse-breaking and dog handling inspired many. In her spare time, she plaited and bound whips and developed a unique skill for classic leatherwork. Alongside her husband, she provided the stock-work and performed other day-to-day tasks required to operate their property, maintain a country lifestyle, and stay economically sustainable. This was the life Elaine and her husband chose.

A Sudden Turn of Events

A couple of years ago, Elaine’s life took a devastating turn. One evening, after feeding the dogs and animals, Elaine was in her kitchen preparing dinner. When her husband did not return from the shed, a shudder of anxiety came over her. She grabbed a torch and went outside to search, finding her husband slumped over the steering wheel of their four-wheeler, cold and unresponsive. Elaine’s world shattered.

Elaine coped admirably with the aftermath, despite having no family to call upon. She began to establish a single life on the property, successfully managing the stock and keeping everything running.

Health Challenges and Isolation

Another year passed, and during a routine cattle muster, Elaine noticed she was feeling increasingly tired. Her weight dropped, and she felt wobbly in the mornings. Living alone with only her dogs and a few chooks for company, Elaine’s isolation grew.

Determined to make the best of her situation, Elaine’s independence was a critical aspect of her self-worth and dignity. However, her health continued to decline. One morning, Elaine could not remember how to reach the dam she visited regularly. This frightening experience led her to seek medical help, resulting in a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and early-stage dementia.

Elaine tried to keep her condition to herself, fearing the loss of her independence. “What is there to talk about when I can’t remember who I told… and I don’t want to be a problem,” she often said. But her ability to manage the property deteriorated.

The Lifeline of Frontier Services

A friend put Elaine in contact with Frontier Services, and a Bush Chaplain began visiting her property. These visits provided immense support, calming Elaine and helping her feel less alone. The Chaplain assisted with organizing paperwork, sorting and packing belongings, and offering companionship.

“This is really stressful as I don’t understand everything, especially when I am stressed… She drives me about and comes over for a cuppa and a yarn which is nice. I can’t get to my community anymore without help. I don’t know what I would have done if Frontier Services was not there to help me.”

As Elaine’s health continued to decline, she had to make the difficult decision to move 200km away to an aged care facility. This move robbed her of her freedom and peace, but the support of the Frontier Services Chaplain remained a constant source of comfort.

The Impact of Your Donations

Elaine’s story highlights the invaluable support that Bush Chaplains provide. They offer companionship, practical assistance, and emotional support to those in remote areas, driving thousands of kilometers to be there for people like Elaine.

Elaine says, “If the Frontier Services Chaplain wasn’t here, I think it would have all been too much and I probably wouldn’t be here either. She has walked alongside me, assisting me to maintain my dignity. She seems to be one of only a handful of people who treat me like I still exist and can make decisions…which I can. Since my medication has kicked in, I can still do things, but I know I need help. My Chaplain from Frontier Services has made time for me and I can see she really cares about me. She takes me out to see my old horse, my dogs, and just waits till I am ready to go home. She doesn’t talk much, which I like…she just listens. We need more people like her around!”

How You Can Help

Your donations ensure that Bush Chaplains can continue their vital work. By contributing, you help cover the costs of fuel, vehicle maintenance, and communication tools necessary for their long journeys. Your generosity provides practical and emotional support to people in remote areas, making a tangible difference in their lives. Your tax-deductible donation will help keep our Bush Chaplains on the road, providing essential support to those in remote communities. Please donate now to make a difference.