Forming bonds

What is a bond all about? Can it only be between family members or friends? Does it depend on the time we spend with someone, or the quality of our relationship with them? Most health professionals from doctors to nurses are taught to be a little distant from the people they care for. It is said this allows them to be objective in crises. Not a caregiver though. Whether they are family or professionals, caregivers can only succeed in their roles and in making the care recipient comfortable by forming a deep bond of understanding and by making an emotional investment.

Seeking professional home care

Neela Peters of Hyderabad has one such story. She has been a caregiver to her parents for the past 4 years. First it was her father and now her mother, Sulochana Peters. Neela acknowledges that a caregiver’s job isn’t a bed of roses. Her mother is a lifelong diabetic with deteriorating immunity. Her Parkinson’s disease which was diagnosed in 2016 began to affect her vocal cords. Neela says, “Her speech was slurring, and I was unable to understand what she was trying to tell me. At one point, she was asking for a glass of water and I thought she needed help with something”. Becoming a caregiver to one’s parent is an overwhelming role reversal, often one for which we are seldom prepared. In such a case, having inexperienced help can add to our woes instead of resolving them. Neela experienced the same when she initially engaged individuals who had previously worked as domestic help to care for her mother. They were neither able to follow her mother’s care regimen nor connect with her. When her mother was hospitalised again, Neela came to Life Circle, a home nursing care provider, in search of a professionally trained caregiver.

Significance of a professional home-care giver

While rigidity and a sense of routine sets in with age, debilitating chronic illnesses like diabetes and Parkinson’s can make it difficult to adjust to sudden changes and especially new people very difficult. For a bedridden person requiring intimate care, this can be doubly arduous. This is where a professional caregiver’s empathy in forming a bond with their charge comes in. We asked Neela to tell us about how her mother and she both have grown accustomed to their Life Circle caregiver Premika Ekka. This is what Neela had to say about her.

“To start she is dedicated, committed, sincere, loving and clean. These are the attributes we found in her. When she came on the first day, my mother and I were a bit doubtful about what she can do since she is very young. But by the third day she proved us wrong.

She is strong and can handle my mother single-handedly without any help. By the end of the week, there was a bond between her and my mother. My mother listens to her; they have chats and she talks to my mother about everything, and how she is feeling and whether she needs anything. Premika also wakes up in the night to check on my mother to see if she is doing fine.”

Neela also shares our thoughts in that it is important to acknowledge caregivers’ efforts. She has always supported her caregiver in her endeavours and was very happy to know that Life Circle was presenting Premika with an award for the wonderful care she had provided to Sulochana Peters.

“As my mother is bedridden she needs to be watched all the time. Premika is able to clean her and attend to all her needs from time to time. My mother also trusts her and cooperates with her. I am able to leave my mother fully with her and do any outside duties, like shopping and other things. My mother and I are very happy with Premika’s services and would like to see many more such girls come out of Life Circle in the future.”

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