Thursday, December 06, 2007

Better Caring for the Elderly

When it comes to caring for the elderly, if we choose to care for them ourselves, we have to know what to do to take good care of them, especially if they suffer from some kind of serious illness. For Indonesians, sending elderly parents to nursing homes is considered something bad to do. It's like "getting rid of them" or something.

Personally speaking, I think if you intend on caring for the elderly at home, at least you have to find out as much information as you can get concerning the health condition of the elderly. As Michelle once told me, getting in touch with a specific health support group or forum can help. The above website provides such a forum and plenty of information about caring for the elderly, such as: recognizing the signs of dementia, Parkinson's disease, bed sores, how to prevent stroke, etc.

Since my father-in-law suffers from Alzheimer, I felt so touched when I read a letter sent to the above website by a man whose wife suffers from Alzheimer. If you want to read it, visit the site and click on "care discussion" and "your letters". In short, at first the man took care of the wife at home, but then she fell and broke her arm. Then she couldn't speak and had to use a wheelchair. Since he couldn't take care of everything himself, he decided to send her to a nursing home. However, that only made things worse. In the end he sold his house, moved to a smaller one and he has been taking care of her alone since then.

if you feel that you're incapable of taking care of your loved ones by yourself, yet you don't want to send them to a nursing home, hiring a carer is a good option. This is what my parents did when my grandma's condition deteriorated badly. After all, my parents had jobs back then and they still had to take care of us, their kids. All in all, when there are sick elderly in your family, it's better for you to equip yourself with all the necessary information and options so you can choose the best option for your loved ones.


  1. I always think that when I become old and sick, I don't mind spending the rest of my days in a hospice or nursing home. At least there are professional nurses to take proper care of me than to burden my children with the responsibility.

    However, when it comes to my parents, I'd think it's more humane to let them be at home with a personal carer. It just doesn't seem right to put them in a nursing home.

  2. Blur Ting: Hey, I have EXACTLY the same thoughts. I also don't mind being left in a nursing home 'coz of the same reasons. Plus I get to mingle with people my age he he he he he...

    But I also agree with you when it comes to my parents. Unfortunately I can't care for them, so I think my task is to care for my in-laws if they want me to.

  3. It's not an easy decision. My parents and aunt took care of their parents at home until they died (grandfather had several strokes and grandma was on oxygen for a bad heart and couldn't move the last year). It was hard and rewarding, but if you are dealing with someone you cannot cope with physically it can be far worse for both of you to try to keep caing for them at home.

    But it is never an easy decision!

    Good topic, amel. :-)

  4. Hi, M!

    Yes, it's not an easy decision at all, except perhaps if the elderly has stated clearly what he or she wants: for example to be sent to a nursing home.

    You're right about that if you can't cope with it, then it'll be bad for both of you. Glad you enjoyed the post! ;-D