Providing home care for Kyphosis Sometimes, families seek home care for more than one family member. This is one such story
The retired government officer couple
Hyderabad-based IT professional Santosh Kumar’s is a very close-knit and articulate family. He lives with dad V. S. Sampath Kumar who is 92 and mom V. R. Lalitha who is 85. Both are retired government personnel and doctorate holders. Sampath Kumar retired as Deputy Director in 1980. He was working at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in the city. Lalitha was the principal of Women’s College at Koti when she retired. The couple’s only daughter is based out of the United States.
Lalitha is diabetic and insulin-dependent, a condition which she had developed almost 30 years back. Sampath Kumar has a humped back because of which he can only look down and not straight. The condition is known as Kyphosis in medical parlance. And it happens because of excessive curvature of the spine on the upper back. Sampath Kumar started developing the condition 20 years back. Kyphosis runs in his family. He is also asthmatic and has been so since his childhood. Santosh Kumar is their primary caregiver and gives them their medicines daily.
Santosh Kumar leads a very hectic life and works six days a week. Though both his parents are comparatively healthy for their age, Santosh Kumar found the going tough managing both his job and parents.
Professional home care for parents
Things took a turn recently, when both the parents, first the mother and then the father, were hospitalised. Lalitha developed dizziness and an irregular heartbeat. Although her sugar levels and BP were normal, she needed hospitalisation and admission to the ICU. She took a week to recover and be discharged.
Sampath Kumar was all alone at home when his wife was at the hospital. He was also hospitalised a week after Lalitha got discharged. This is because his oxygen saturation levels dipped and fluctuated between 88 and 90. He also developed fever and had to undergo Covid-19 tests. Luckily, the test results turned out to be negative. He had earlier undergone the test three times for the virus and each time the result was negative. He was shifted to the ward later and was in the hospital for a week.
It was then that Santosh Kumar decided to seek professional help. After a search on the Net, Kumar came across Life Circle, a home care provider. He decided to avail the services of two caregivers, one for each parent. After his mother recovered, Kumar decided to keep only one caregiver to focus more on his father, as he was reserved and rarely spoke. He opted for the male caregiver so that his father would feel more comfortable.
Has employing a home attendant been of help to Santosh Kumar?
“Yes, I am able to concentrate on my work better. Earlier, I was handicapped,” says Kumar. In addition, his office is a good 30-minute drive from his home. Should any medical emergency arise at home he will not be able to make it on time because he has to take the heavy traffic into consideration. Now, both his parents have become very dependent on the home attendant. While Kumar takes care of his father’s medication, the caregiver takes care of his mother’s.
The current home attendant
Twenty-three-year-old Chinu Gangu Wadde who hails from Maharashtra has studied up to class XII. His parents and two brothers stay at their home in a village near Nagpur. Chinu had been always in awe of the medical field and that influenced his decision to become a caregiver. Prior to taking up the job, he underwent training at an institution in Nagpur. And the institution helped him land a job with Life Circle.
His daily routine includes giving the patient medicine, checking blood sugar and BP, administering insulin shots and assisting the patient in activities of daily living should the need arise. He looks up to Sampath Kumar whom he says despite his age makes a lot of effort to do things on his own and calls for help only sometimes.
Chinu is content with his job and aspires to study more when opportunities come up in the future.