Interchange Insights: Muriel connects with musings of the past

Writing and listening to classical music are two of Muriel's passions. Photo: supplied
Writing and listening to classical music are two of Muriel's passions. Photo: supplied

Muriel became a client of Interchange Australia 10 years ago after suffering a travelling stroke. While her balance and eyesight aren’t the best and she wears a hearing aid, she is committed to continue living independently in her Bowral home. In her own words, “The nursing homes aren’t ready for me and I’m not ready for them!”

Muriel enjoys connecting with people and going on weekly outings and shopping trips with Interchange Australia Support Workers. “I find someone taking me to town is the highlight of my week. Interchange always matches up carers so well with clients. Rose and Cherie are like family,” Muriel says.

Muriel was born in December, 1925 in the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in England, 40 miles south-east of central London. Her family migrated to Australia and she attended the Sutton Forest School where she learned to write, which has become a long-lasting pastime.

“I learned to write on a slate,” Muriel explains. “I have written about many of my life experiences and have been writing a regular column for my garden club called ‘Muriel’s Musings’ for many years. I now write on a computer and am often asked by people in the community to write for them.”

Muriel’s other much loved pastime includes listening to classical music. “Classical music is the art gallery of the mind,” Muriel said. “You see the same thing when you hear the same piece of music.” 

Muriel has a profound recollection of Southern Highlands history. She was instrumental in researching local servicemen who had died during the war, enabling them to be acknowledged and remembered on war memorials.

Muriel reflects on how community spirit was stronger in years past, when people helped each other more. “There was a greater sense of community spirit back then, however, Interchange’s carers keep that spirit alive.” Muriel looks forward to continuing her writing and keeping connected with the community she loves so much.

For information about services and support: www.interchangeau.org, www.facebook.com/interchangeau or call 1300 112 334.

- Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes