Looking after an elderly family member especially someone who is bedridden or looking after anyone at home who is bedridden can take a toll on the health of a primary caregiver. To give the primary caregiver the much-needed break, families go for respite care from home care service providers. Certified nursing attendants provided by these home care service providers fill in for the primary caregivers whenever they take breaks.
Mr. Gautam, his daughter Nimmi, Mrs. Gautam & Caregiver Pratibha (L to R)
VN Gautam’s family went through a crisis when his wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in November 2015. For almost a year, Gautam took it on him to look after his ill wife. But things became difficult for the primary caregiver after the disease started progressing. His wife had repeated falls beginning June 2016. By July 2018, she had eight falls. The last fall resulted in a hairline fracture. Gautam’s wife needed help for her activities of daily living (ADLs). To add to the woes of the family, she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in December 2018 which required surgery.
Now Gautam was primary caregiver not only to his wife but also his 39-year-old daughter Nimmi who was suffering from Down’s syndrome. He found the going to tough to handle and decided to avail the services of a home attendant for respite care. The family sought help from Life Circle, a home care service provider.
A sneak peak on home attendant Pratibha’s daily care activities
Pratibha, the home attendant starts her day at 7 am by putting eye drops in the patient’s eyes following which she gives the patient her medications which are prearranged in the medicine box. It is important to keep in mind the “five rights” when administering drugs: the right patient, the right drug, the right time, the right dose and the right route.
Pratibha assists the patient with toileting, bathing and checks her vitals. She provides constant support in getting the patient in and out of bed; takes her for small walks around the house; helps her with light exercises and so on.
What the primary caregiver has to say
Gautam acknowledges that there is a positive change in his life after availing home nursing care from Life Circle. He feels reassured because the home attendant takes good care of the patient. It has provided him some respite. He mentions that his wife also feels reassured with the care provided and is more confident than before.
Pratibha on the other hand feels financially stable and derives a sense of satisfaction from her work as a home attendant. She saves a bulk of her monthly earnings and plans to use her savings for her higher studies; she aspires to become a nurse one day.
Planning for respite care starts with analysing the needs of both you and your loved one. It can take many forms, but boils down to two basic ideas: sharing the responsibility for caregiving and getting support for you. Availing respite care can make things simple leaving your loved one “reassured and confident”!!
About the author
Aparajita, has a background in dentistry and has done a Masters in Public health from the EHESP- French school of public health. She has worked at organizations such as WHO(Geneva), URC- Eco(Paris), HandsOn Suburban Chicago & NWSRA(Chicago). Now she is working at Life Circle as the care coordination officer. She believes it’s best when career and passion come together. Her vision to bring some grass- roots level change through organized efforts gives her the drive to work. In her spare time, she loves moving around the city, exploring new places and making memories.