Having a good caretaker when you get old, is crucial. Not someone who is just there to handle the practical needs but also to be kind, thoughtful and to understand you.
One example of this occurs on a daily basis at the China Welfare Institute Senior Home in Qingpu District. There, more than 50 caretakers have been dedicating their love and patience to elderly residents for more than 10 years at the home which opened its doors in 2008 to 273 individuals.
The caretakers treat the elderly – whose average age is 87 – like family. According to 36 year old caretaker Zhu Fenhua (who was named one of Shanghai’s most beautiful nursing workers):
“Every senior has their own character, and careful observation is important. I interact differently based on their character. The job requires constant learning as the knowledge regarding senior care nursing is always not enough. There are always new peaks to climb and we must be careful and meticulous.”
This sentiment was echoed by another caretaker at the home, Luo Pinglin. She said:
“I view the home as my own home, and I try my best to help the people here. I pay attention to small details. In winter, I put a warm towel on toilet seats in advance to make our residents comfortable. My wish is their health and longevity.”
There is so much to do at a care home facility. Night staff have to help with residents who get stuck in the night due to conditions like Parkinson’s disease. They help with the bathroom or change diapers/commode. For others, they aide residents with teeth brushing and morning face washing. And then there are some residents who have trouble chewing.
Then there are rehabilitation exercises, activities for dementia patients, balancing exercises and more. Everyone has different needs. The caretakers often know at least five different ways to arrange bedding to make it the most comfortable for the different needs. Different towels are used for different body parts; these are color coordinated for ease of organization. And each caretaker gets to know the resident in an attempt to build
Getting old can sometimes be very challenging. But with the right care, love, dedication and interest in who one is, it can be rewarding for everyone involved.