‘Just need to know I’m not here on my own and there is life out there’

IN self-isolation in her Revesby home without access to the internet or a mobile phone, Carol Carter admits that she jumps on her landline every time it rings.

In a high risk group, the 71-year-old Aboriginal elder says she misses being able to go outside in her wheelchair and talk to people.
“I really look forward to the phone ringing,” she said with a big laugh.
“I normally go up and down the road in my wheelchair but now I just sit in the house or out the front.
“I still say hi to people walking past with their dogs but there aren’t many people even doing that now.
“Everyone around here is heeding the message to stay home which is a really good thing.
“The weekend was so quiet here, there was no traffic, no visitors to anyone in the street. It was really eerie.”
A volunteer from the Red Cross Telecross service calls her every morning to check in and a couple of times a week, an Aboriginal volunteer from the Teleyarn service calls for a longer chat.
“You can have a bit of a chat and a joke and see what other people are up to. It’s just keeping us connected. It’s a way of stopping that loneliness,” she said.
Both services help her sense of well-being but even more so now when she can’t have any visitors.
“I had someone come by the other day that I haven’t seen for about five years and I had to talk to her through the screen door,” she said.
“I’m just hanging out for phone calls and listening for the neighbours to come home just so I know I’m not here on my own and there is life still out there.”