If I had known then when I made the decision to come back to Singapore to care for my parents, to what I know and have learnt up till now about Care Giving, maybe I would take more time to consider the decision, to take the responsibility about caring for someone.
Having said that I would still take on this responsibility to care for my parents not because it is my duty but also I could not think of anyone who could care for them better than family members who love them.
Is it like going to war?
Not exactly but also not far from it. I used war as a comparison because it is a daily battle that does not really get better, in fact most situations will get from bad to worse. We need to be mindful that it is a battle that has no winners, also it is not a battle against anyone or any situation. It is a battle that to maintain the calling that we as care givers are doing the right thing no matter the odds and finally there will be peace and we will prevail until it our own season of ageing and needing care.
I have come across many cases where care giving has caused severe family situations, both for the care giver and the care recipient, I guess the best comparison is war to get attention and make people sit up that this task and commitment should not be taken lightly.
I have come across divorces caused by care giving, siblings disharmony, grandchildren leaving home, emotional breakdowns, financial instability to the point of needing seeking welfare, the list goes on hence care givers need to prepare, research and get trained.
Preparing and equipping the Care Giver.
This step is usually missed out, because usually Care Givers are thrust into the role or they wake up one day, almost suddenly, they have someone to care for.
There are some key facets of Care Giving that are important:
- Emotional preparedness
- Financial preparedness
- Time commitment preparedness
- Relationship preparedness
- Space preparedness
- Equipment preparedness
In this article, I like to start with the very basic 6) Equipment preparedness. This because in a recent focus group I found that almost all, about 90% of the care givers participating in the focus group, their care recipients had developed painful bed sores, some with permanent physical damage. Typically bed sores take many months to heal some as long as 6-9 months!
With the correct equipment and knowledge this condition is very preventable. Hence when we sent someone into war to do battle we provide the soldiers with the right equipment to fight and defend themselves. At the very minimum, we provide the soldiers with, helmets, rifles, ammunition and training how to use them.
At the very minimum care givers (for bedridden elderly), will require :
Minimum Essential Equipment to avoid Bed Sores:
- Hospital Beds
- Air Mattress
- Diapers, Ultra Absorbent, Breathable
- Barrier Cream
Optional but highly desired:
- Adult Wet Wipes
Hopefully with the minimum essentials, the painful and sometimes debilitating bedsores can be prevented.
There are avenues for free used equipment and also our Government provides huge subsidies for these equipment. The Care Giver just needs to apply for them.
If you need help to obtain these equipment please contact us. If you have equipment that you like to donate please also contact us so that we can help someone in need.