Health and Health Care in Australia


CNA151 – Health and Health Care in Australia

Assessment 2

Case Study Carla

Carla is a 54-year old woman who was born in a small coastal mining town. Her parents died

when she was little, so she was raised by an older aunt. Her aunt did not know how to read

and Carla struggled in school. She married young and had two children but separated from

her husband just after the birth of her second child. She sole-parented her children from a

young age.

Initially her husband helped financially, but when the youngest was only 5 years old the

mine he worked in closed and he could not find consistent employment. He worked for a

casual employer and sustained a head injury at work. He had felt okay at the time of the

accident and was embarrassed and worried about the job, so did not report it or get

treatment. Afterwards, he became forgetful and later developed depression. Despite being

divorced Carla ends up caring for him in times of crisis.

Carla had no trouble finding work when the children were little. She worked in grocery and

retail positions around town. She and her neighbours would share childcare duties and work

opposite shifts. As the children grew up she found it harder and harder to stay employed

and money kept getting tighter. Without the mine, other businesses in town turned over

quickly and more and more people were leaving. Many of her life long friends have left the

town. Currently, she volunteers at the RSPCA and makes a little money cleaning for the post

office and the town hall.

Her children grew up and moved to the city looking for employment. Neither of them did

well at school, but her son finished Grade 12. Her daughter lives with her boyfriend in a tiny

one room apartment. Her boyfriend is working and going to school in the evenings. Despite

their long hours they are struggling to make ends meet. Her daughter is pregnant and has

developed gestational diabetes. She feels very tired all the time and wants Carla to move to

the city too. They are excited about the baby but also worried about how they are going to

be able to afford rent when the baby arrives, and her boyfriend is thinking about quitting

school. Carla wants to be closer to help her daughter but the cost of visits on public

transport is prohibitive. She has been saving for visits by eating toast for her evening meal,

but can still only afford to visit monthly.


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