Home attendants for healthy ageing

Healthy ageing

Home attendants are sometimes employed to help healthy seniors. Why? The idea is to encourage healthy ageing. And what is healthy ageing? Healthy ageing is all about creating the ‘environment and opportunities to enable older people to continue being and doing what they have always valued throughout their lives.

The decision to go for a home attendant

Rajiv, a resident of Singapore, has a wish for his parents who live in India. He explains, “Both my parents who are otherwise independent (elderly 91 & 82 yrs old) need attention, regard, respect, love and care. Their days need to be made colourful and meaningful. I want them to experience healthy ageing”[sic]. He decided to hire a professional caregiver from Life Circle, a home nursing care provider, to take care of them.

Senior home care: The caregiving experience

Kanchan, Life Circle’s bubbly caregiver, takes care of Rajiv’s elderly parents. She ensures that they are able to embrace the small joys of life. She engages them in games such as ludo; activities like drawing together and listening to ghazals (a genre of Indian music); and sharing WhatsApp jokes that leave a smile on their faces. Kanchan also takes them for strolls both in the morning and evening. These are a few of the many things that they do together. She closely monitors their diet and escorts them to the nearby dispensary for regular check-ups.

Kanchan keeps Rajiv’s parents occupied with various activities that keep them active both mentally and physically. The couple regularly interacts with a small group of friends at a nearby park. This daily ritual helps them avoid isolation and gives them immense happiness.

The importance of a social circle

Social inclusion and participation lead to more enduring networks of family, friends and carers, and greater involvement in social life. And all these help in combating loneliness, depression and other mental health issues and are therefore associated with improved health.

About the home attendant

Kanchan, a mother of two boys, aged 5 and 3, lives with her parents and brothers. She takes pride in working as a professional caregiver. Her earnings at work help her pay her children’s school fees and enable her to contribute to the household income. She gets an off every Sunday which she spends with her kids. The previous Sunday she took them out for an animated movie; the kids were of course delighted.

Senior home care: An enabling environment

Healthy ageing is about enabling older people to enjoy a good quality of life. Healthy ageing strategies create the conditions and opportunities for older people to have regular physical activity, a healthy diet, social relations, participation in meaningful activities, etc. This involves holistic approaches that address both mental and physical health. Therefore, healthy ageing cannot be achieved through a single initiative alone but requires a range of actions and approaches that work together to achieve this outcome. Healthy ageing also requires a structural paradigm change, as older people must desire and maintain the ability to play an active role in society, while society must, in turn, encourage and accommodate this.

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 grassroots 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.

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