60-year-old, St Albans local, Jasmina is the quintessential communicator. Working as a translator, her days are filled with communicating with Bosnians while they need assistance unpacking government forms and day-to-day administration challenges.
It is also through her love of communication, that she got to know Maltese-born, Nicholina, a 79-year single lady, with little family, also living in St Albans.
“We originally were neighbours, and we struck up a friendship very quickly back in 2019,” Jasmina said.
“There have been lots of coffee consumed in our friendship over the last four years, especially during COVID, when we were each other’s bubble of friends.”
And while Jasmina has moved from the apartment block to a house down the road, their friendship and relationship stays strong.
“Nicholina has a lot going on with her health, so I tend to help her get to medical appointments as well as helping her out with administration, bills, and even fixing her TV remote control."
“I often worry that when you live alone, like Nicholina and I do, you tend to get lazy around food preparation. I still have the energy to prepare good, wholesome meals, but I think Nicholina often neglects that side of things. So, I often make extra dinner and drop it off, or invite her for dinner, to make sure she is getting enough protein and vegetables."
“The truth is, that while I do a lot for Nicholina, she in return, does a lot for me. I value her humour, her friendship, and her compassion."
“I treat Nicholina in the way I would like to be treated. It is that simple. Sometimes it is the smallest of acts that make the grandest of impacts, and for me, whether it is plating up an extra dinner, fixing a light globe, or watching a TV show with her, it makes a world of difference to Nicholina."
“For me, it is so important to be available for Nicolina, day or night, even if it is just for a phone call. Knowing that I have her back by providing emotional support is needed in Nicolina’s world."
“As Nicholina’s health challenges continue to grow, including getting a hip replacement and an enlarged pituitary gland, it is so important that we do all we can to keep her safe and happy at home for as long as possible. That is what we all want really, isn’t it?”
Carers Victoria has been a significant support for Jasmina, and that help has been greatly appreciated.
“I recently attended the Epping Mingles event and it was simply a joy. Lovely food, entertainment, and company made for such a great day. It is always wonderful to be able to unwind and have a laugh with other carers,” Jasmina added.
“Carers Victoria also sorted out a membership to the local swimming pool to allow me to participate in aquatic sessions for my back injury after a recent car accident. That has been such a relief to have access to."
“While life is so busy at times, it is always comforting to know that I have the support mechanisms from Carers Victoria to give support and care back to Nicholina. It is a community within a community, and I love that.”