Senior care – A calling, not a job
Caring is an act of kindness. It is one thing that we all desire from those around us, and every time the opportunity to care presents itself, we who are placed in that position to express it are humbled and privileged to meet the most basic need. Caring is an act of love and we are the expression of that love.
Many of my friends and seniors that I’ve met in my practice always ask this question? “Why and How did I get into senior care industry?
Well, here it is; I was born and raised in Kenya (East Africa) and my culture required that children assume the responsibility of care for their elderly ones in their communities. Being around our grand parents was always fun. They shared stories about their youthful days, and of course secrets about our own parents – the good and the mischiefs. Having our grand parents constantly at home proved very valuable as we learnt by instruction and observation how to care for the elderly and especially our own parents as they age.
I migrated to the US and was immediately confronted by the cultural differences; especially in the handling of the elderly and the ill. Well, the adage, “when you go to Rome, do as the Romans do,” did not quite sit well with me at that point. Despite my discomforts with the assisted living facilities, I endeavored to learn the system. I worked for a couple of facilities in Pennsylvania, Delaware and eventually in Alabama. I learnt a couple of lessons;
With my African background, and from my interaction with seniors around, I was moved to find a working solution for families who need Home Care but are not in favor of sending their parents to an assisted living facility, and through Angels of Central Alabama, we have been blessed to meet the needs of many seniors and their families since inception in 2012.
There are many agencies seeking to meet the needs of seniors all over the country. It is worth to note that many of these are motivated by the revenue generated, considering that home care is growing industry. From my experiences, one cannot approach care giving from a ‘job perspective’ or business perspective. Approaching Home Care from the said perspectives have always led to frustrations and a deepening divide within family settings. The caregiver in these cases suffer from burnout associated with caring for the elderly.
To have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the people one is caring for, one must rise above the ‘business mentality,’ especially in health care. The care and well being of your patients must take precedent to revenue realized from caring for the elderly. This does not mean that revenue generation should be ignored. It means that the quality of care must always be maintained.
The reality is, many caregivers are in it for a wages, and are less concerned about the welfare of the patients they’re caring for, resulting in all forms of abuse, negligence and violation of human rights.
Caring is love in action. It is an expression of love through acts of kindness inspired by nothing else but love. It is an act that goes beyond emotions and taps into the very core of our being. I always advise family members to pick a reliable home care agency that will best express their heartfelt desires to their loved ones, especially if life events hinder them from fulfilling that need.
Connecting with families on a personal level and having that opportunity to meet their needs, assures us that we are fulfilling our calling – turning challenging situation into positive life experiences through care giving.
I am a son to my Father, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to my beloved earthly dad. I am a father to my three beautiful children, Sherodyne, Ryan & Rehema, a husband to my beautiful and beloved wife Florence.