Caring for a senior

Shankar is an 84-year-old senior, bedridden since the last 4 years. He has Parkinson’s disease, is frail and speech, hearing and sight impaired. Tilottama, a professional caregiver from Life Circle, a home care provider, handles all aspects of his care thus providing respite to family members.

Talking about the octogenarian, his daughter-in-law mentions that caring for bedridden seniors is very time consuming. Often their physical needs take priority. Assisting the person with activities of daily living, preventing bedsores, coping with their condition, maintaining hygiene, etc. leaves little or no time to think about a very important aspect – the patient’s emotional wellbeing.

Elderly care: Impact of “touch”

Shankar’s daughter-in-law has noticed that he responds to touch. She says, “Though the patient can’t listen to us, he can’t see, he still has the feeling of touch. I could see that – If any new person comes (substitute caregiver), he tries to push them. He should get that feeling that this person has come to give me care. He understands you see, he pushes, refuses to take food from her. Eventually he gets used to the new touch and in 2-3 days he’s alright. He’s used to this girl (Tilottama), the moment she came back (returned after a leave), he understood. She talks to him while feeding him, sometimes he may understand. He cooperates with her.”

Tilottama’s reassuring gentle touch calms him and lets him know that someone cares and is looking after his needs. As a part of her care schedule, she massages his arms, hands, legs with oil every day. While it prevents dryness and irritation, it most importantly promotes the feeling of wellbeing and is great for pain relief too. The patient’s daughter-in-law is extremely pleased with Tilottama whom she says is sincere, consistent and compassionate.

About the home attendant

Tilottama Sunani
Tilottama Sunani has been working for Life Circle for nearly 2 two years now. Talking of what this job means to her she says “My father works in the farms. My family is poor, they are happy that I’m earning. I support my brother and sisters for their studies. I’ve been working for Life Circle for close to 2 years now, with Mr Shankar since February. My parents want me to get married; I’ve told them not for another 2-3 years. All my siblings are studying. Once my brother starts working, I can think of marriage.”

At Life Circle, we aim to raise the quality of life of seniors especially those who have limited mobility and social interaction due to their condition. Our caregivers are compassionate, patient and take genuine interest in their work. Tilottama is one such example and we value her contribution.

About the author

Madhumita is a familial caregiver to her mother-in-law who lives with dementia and a full-time mom of a bubbly 3-year-old. She meets and interacts with Life Circle’s clients to understand various aspects of Geriatric care and care needs with the aim of serving our clients in a better way.

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