Caring Rina is a friend to sufferers
For Coatbridge gran Rina Doyle, her role working with people living with Parkinson’s is much more than that of a carer. On many occasions, dedicated Rina is their voice.
Rina was a carer for her husband, James, who had a brain tumour and sadly passed away aged 63. When Rina also lost her 89-year-old mum, for whom she cared, she needed a new focus.
That’s when more than 15 years ago, her son and daughter-in-law suggested she return to her former career as a professional carer.
Rina was allocated 15 hours with the Parkinson’s Self-Help Group in a post that is funded by North Lanarkshire Council.
Just like the people with Parkinson’s and their families and carers, the self-help group has been, for Rina, a lifeline that changed her outlook on life.
She started her new job a week after her mum Kitty passed away.
“Everything is sent for a purpose,”said Rina.
“This takes up a lot of my time and I am really happy.”
The Shawhead resident is also a befriender who visits people who have Parkinson’s in their own homes.
“I take them lunch and and they are glad of the company. A lot of them are so grateful even the smallest of things. It’s quite unbelievable.
“I try to treat everyone the same. When home care workers come in, they focus mainly on equipment. But if they were able to allocate even half an hour to get a person up out of their chair and take just two steps, you have no idea the difference it makes.
“For some of them, I feel as if I am their voice. Their families are busy and they have things to do, and they need somebody to speak up for them.”
If there are aspects of a person’s home care that concern Rina, she will not hesitate try and have them addressed. No two people with Parkinson’s are the same, says Rina, and their medication differs too.
“You could be sitting here with four people with Parkinson’s and some of the time, you’d not know a person has it. Then, you can get someone with really bad tremors. Sometimes, their speech can go and swallowing can be so hard that some people have to have their gullet stretched. I comfort them, give them a wee bit of empathy and let them know we are there. I tell them:‘Anytime you need me, phone me’.
Rina lives for the work she does for Monklands people living with Parkinson’s and their families and carers, and it’s clear as she plays dominoes with them and makes them laugh over a hearty hot lunch in Weaver’s Cottages, Wellwynd, that they adore her and love her company and lively spirit.
Lifeline Rina helps patients out