Older Australians opting for in-home care over nursing homes
(ABC Mid North Coast: Gabrielle Lyons) ABC Mid North Coast
October 16, 2017 14:09:55
As the sun rises Ruth Goodwin captures the elderly swimmers who brave the icy surf.
Port Macquarie 2444
(ABC Mid North Coast: Gabrielle Lyons) That’s probably when I turned to Instagram.” Ms Goodwin said originally she joined the photo sharing application as a means of communication with her daughter once she moved interstate, however her morning walks introduced her to an entirely different community. “Being a full-time carer is quite consuming, I am essentially doing the role of two people all the time, “I started walking on the beach every morning for my own health and respite and I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it was. “Having been in a life or death situation where I came very close to losing someone very close to me, I think it’s important to highlight the important things in life,” she said. “There is a certain beauty to aging so I print them copies of their photos for birthdays and greeting cards.” Due to the popularity of the sunrise swimmers Instagram page, Ms Goodwin said many of the swimmers had joined the app themselves. Sunrise is Ruth Goodwin’s favourite time of day.As she stands with her toes deeply buried in the sand, she takes photographs of the elderly swimmers who brave the icy cool morning surf. “People as they age don’t always have photos of themselves, which I think is really sad,” she said. I think it gives them a little feeling of celebrity.”Ms Goodwin considers her sunrise swimmers profile like a documentary of the beach, but also the people she interacts with daily.”It has almost become like a time-lapse or documentary of morning life,” she said.”I have considered putting together a collection and showcase these photographs,”I regularly go home to Bill and show him the photos I have taken saying ‘look how different the light is in the one’.”Capturing the communitySince starting up the Instagram page, Ms Goodwin said she had become an accidental advocate for the early morning swimming community. “Even though I am sharing these moments on social media, I am truly in the moment and sharing a very special moment of the morning.”
Ms Goodwin considers her photograph and the Sunrise Swimmers as her respite, as she is the full time carer for her husband. Photo:
Ms Goodwin and her husband recently re-visited Fiji, reminiscing on their visits before Mr Goodwin suffered from a stroke. The sunrise swimmers
Sunrise swimmers gentleman approaching water
Ms Goodwin said she started photographing the sunrise swimmers on Port Macquarie’s Town beach after having tested the water herself.”The beach showers only have cold water, so I only swim in the warmer months,” she said.”I started the sunrise swimmers Instagram and it became a record for the people who brave the surf.”It was just a little bit of fun, but the elderly people who swim and the surfers are happy to be my models. (Supplied: Ruth Goodwin)
Ms Goodwin and her husband Bill relocated to Port Macquarie on the New South Wales mid north coast three years ago after Mr Goodwin suffered from a stroke.Forcing the two into retirement sooner than expected, Ms Goodwin is now her husband’s full-time carer. “As I walked along I noticed these people getting in and out of the water as the sun was rising and I just thought they were so brave,” she said. An Instagram page on sunrise swimmers at a Port Macquarie beach was created from one of the necessities of being a full-time carer — respite. “So some mornings are spent with me giving them little tech-help sessions over coffee.” Ms Goodwin believes providing this simple form of care for the people she photographs every morning emphasises the simple beauty in life. “We packed up from Katoomba in the Blue mountains and followed the sun,” she said. “Some of the folk have had to upgrade their phones in the time I have known them so they could join the page,” she said. External Link:
Sunrise swimmers pink morning
She said she felt privileged to be sharing their stories through photography.
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