Senior home care: Dementia care specialist (Series of 5 blogs)

In this blog post, we profile two dementia cases in senior home care handled by one of our proficient caregivers.

Twenty-year-old Ranjucheek Barak, a professional caregiver working for Life Circle has been working with the home nursing care provider for two-and-a-half years. During her tenure, she has been a caregiver for two dementia patients.

Senior home care service for Sheela Brahma

Ranju with Ms Sheila
Ranju currently serves Sheela Brahma, a 72-year-old senior living with late-stage dementia. Sadly, the patient has neither the ability to speak nor communicate. Furthermore, having lost many psycho-motor skills (the ability to walk, sit upright, hold the head up, etc.), she is nearly bedridden. Therefore, she is completely dependent on Ranju for performing the essential activities of daily living (ADL) and toileting. In addition to managing medication and keeping her safe, Ranju also keeps her mobile to manage her calls. She also ensures that the septuagenarian moves every two hours so that she does end up having bedsores. Sheela Brahma’s family member Praveen Mukherjee applauds Ranju’s contribution and says, “She is well trained. She’s taking full care and we are very much satisfied.”

Senior home care service for Ms Anup Jain

The patient who Ranju previously cared for, Ms Anup Jain, an 81-year-old, had a hip fracture. And she was living with mid-stage dementia. Ms Jain passed away recently. Anunaya Jain, the lady’s grandson tells us how engaging a home attendant for his grandmother made all the difference to their family.

Says Anunaya, “She was immobile, had a lot of pain and it got to a level where she lost interest in everything. Ranju, her daytime caregiver was able to get her out of the house. She would take her for strolls in her wheelchair twice a day and eventually slow walks. We saw a lot of changes in grandmom. From being completely socially disinterested and completely dependent she became slightly cheerful. She would look forward to going down and having a routine. She would smile a couple of times in a day and to us that was the biggest gain over 5 months.”

Elaborating on the impact on the family, Anunaya says, “Not only did that affect her recovery and nutrition, but the visible change that we saw in the health of our parents (Who were grandmom’s family caregivers), not having to worry about our grandmom. That’s the trust our caregivers were able to establish with our parents. It was tremendously helpful for us. Overall, not just the care given to our grandmom, but the overall quality of life changed for our entire family was the biggest gain from engaging Ranju and her colleague from Life Circle as caregivers for my grandmom.”[sic]

About home attendant Ranju

Ranju aspires to be a Nurse and is working with Life Circle to fund her education. She misses her mom who lives in Ranchi. Pointing to Sheela Brahma she says “Ek mummy door hai to Ek mil Gayi”(Because my mummy stays far away, I found another mummy here).

Her first day at Sheela Brahma’s residence was her most challenging day at work. This is because she had to administer insulin injections to the patient. “I learnt to give subcutaneous injections during my caregiver training programme in Ranchi where we learnt on a manikin. When I started working here, I was nervous for the first 2-3 days. My hands would shiver. But now I am confident.”

Engaging a professional home attendant

Caring for dementia patients can have an impact on the physical and mental well-being of family caregivers. Older seniors with dementia are often cared for by their family members who themselves are seniors, though younger. Engaging a professional caregiver can make caregiving less stressful. It also ensures that your loved ones receive the care and dignity that they deserve.

About the author

Madhumita is a familial caregiver to her mother-in-law who lives with dementia and a full-time mom of a bubbly 3-year-old. She meets and interacts with Life Circle’s clients to understand various aspects of Geriatric care and care needs with the aim of serving our clients in a better way.

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